However, while the township was well-known for resistance actions like the Alexandra bus boycott, “from today, Alex must be known for development and progress.” It is anchored by a 2 800m² Pick n Pay, the first in Alexandra. Other national retailers have also taken space, providing a quality shopping environment structured along the lines of leading shopping centres in the country, according to the developers. To loud cheers, Zuma said all townships needed to have infrastructure like the Pan Africa Shopping Centre, and basic services like water, roads and electricity. Economic development should not only be the preserve of the former white suburbs, but should spread to previously disadvantaged communities. “One can walk to the township and buy a suit without spending any transport money,” Zuma said. “Parents working at the centre can now spend quality time with their children. Before the opening of the centre, parents only had a chance to see their children during weekends because they had to wake up very early and knock off very late when their children were already asleep.” “Alexandra is home to many leaders of the ANC,” Zuma said. “We can count leaders like Kgalema Motlanthe, Alfred Nzo, Thomas Nkobi and many more who were residents of this township. [It] has given this country expertise and talent.” Zuma said it was apt that such a huge development was built in Alexandra, one of South Africa’s best-known townships, which played a remarkable role in the fight against apartheid. Mall developers Pan Africa Development Company’s CEO Tebogo Mogashoa said the 16 000m² shopping centre was already fully let and more than 1 000 jobs had been created. A few hours earlier, Zuma had been to Soweto, where he had laid a wreath at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and had visited Maponya Mall. “Pan Africa Shopping Centre represents the dreams and aspirations of the Alexandra people,” Mogashoa said. “We developed it for them”. Infrastructure In the south of the city, a similar kind of development had taken place, he said, referring to Maponya Mall in Soweto. Source: City of Johannesburg Opening the shopping centre was an important occasion, he said. “This is a celebration of investment in the city of Johannesburg. But this is not only a celebration of investment, but what we are seeing today is urban renewal and rejuvenation.” The Pan Africa Shopping Centre is located in one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan areas of Alexandra, with a plethora of informal traders and an assortment of shops selling a range of goods from traditional medicine to exclusive boutique clothing. “During the opening of the mall, Richard Maponya said we had taken Sandton and placed it in Soweto. This shopping centre is part of developing our townships and also part of empowering our people.” The centre The shopping centre would be a catalyst for employment in “ekasi” – the slang term for township – and people would be able to shop “right on their doorstep”. “Surely but slowly, we are changing the face of our townships,” he said. The Pan Africa Shopping Centre, a fully integrated shopping mall and taxi facility located in the heart of Alexandra, was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday. 27 May 2009 Gone are the days when Alexandra residents had to travel to other parts of the city to do their shopping. A new mall, featuring the country’s major retail chains, has just opened for business in the township to the north of Johannesburg. Falling under the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP), a programme to upgrade infrastructure and living conditions in one of Johannesburg’s oldest townships, the Pan Africa Shopping Centre forms part of a comprehensive retail and taxi node that includes a 50 000m² taxi rank, a three-level holding facility for taxis, public parking and structured informal trading. Besides the Pan Africa Shopping Centre, Zuma said Alexandra boasted some other economic and social developments. Quality schools, houses and infrastructure had been built since the inception of the ARP. Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and several government officials also attended the function, along with thousands of Alex residents who wanted to catch a glimpse of the President.
In a major blow to the Congress in Meghalaya, four-time Chief Minister Donwa Dethwelson Lapang resigned from the party.In his resignation letter to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday night, Mr. Lapang said he was resigning “reluctantly and with a heavy heart”.The former Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief accused the All India Congress Committee (AICC) of embarking upon a policy of phasing out senior and elderly people.“In my opinion it means that service and contribution of senior and elderly people is no longer useful to the party,” he said in the letter, copies of which were made available to the media.Mr. Lapang said, “This restriction made me frustrated and compelled me to be no longer comfortable in the party.”Mr. Lapang first became Chief Minister in 1992. He was again sworn in as Chief Minister in 2003, 2007 and 2009.AICC general secretary in charge of Meghalaya Luizinho Faleirio said he had not met Mr. Lapang in the last three years. Mr. Faleirio said he did not meet Mr. Lapang during his recent visit to Shillong for revamping the activities of the party.Mr. Lapang, after demitting the office of party chief last year, continued to hold the position of an adviser to the party.MPCC president Celestine Lyngdoh expressed surprise over Mr. Lapang’s decision to quit the party. “We’ll try and find out and, if possible, sort out things at the earliest,” he said.
Indian weightlifting is synonymous with doping controversies. The medals at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) may have camouflaged the malaise but once the competitions begin here on Saturday, India will find it tough.It is no secret that Indian lifters have shamed the country time and again because of failed dope tests. Had they not gone with a begging bowl to the CWG Organising Committee, the Indian federation may not have been able to pay the fines and the competed in New Delhi.As the Chinese lifters and the other Asian heavyweights launch their assault on the barbells, it would be worth taking a look at some of the Indian who will be on view. National coach Harnam Singh says he expects a good show from the Indians, but that is a statement which seems to be laced more with emotion than hope.Sydney Olympics bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari told Mail Today: “In the Commonwealth Games, the competition was easier. It will be much tougher in the Asian Games. The standard of Indian lifters has gone down and the women weightlifters will find it tough.”In the 48 kg class, Sonia Chanu won silver at the CWG with a 167kg effort. In the Asiad, that will only fetch a fourth or fifth position and gold could be in the region of 200-205kg. Monika Devi won a bronze with 216kg at the CWG. In Guangzhou, the gold will probably be decided in the 255-260kg bracket.