ALICE REGENERATION PROGRAMME (ARP)
The Alice Regeneration Programme (ARP) was initially started as the Alice Rejuvenation Project by local stakeholders and Fort Hare alumni in the early 2000s. This has evolved with ASPIRE, Nkonkobe Economic Development Agency, Nkonkobe Municipality and other provincial development partners playing more prominent and supportive roles since 2007.
The aim of the ARP is to make Alice an economically and socially viable University Town.
The ARP is guided by the Alice Regeneration Strategy (2011). It was developed after a consultative process over two years culminating in the development of the Alice High Level Feasibility Assessment (2010) and the Local Spatial Development Framework for Alice and its environs (2011). The Alice LSDF provides the spatial guidelines for the development of Alice. The Alice Regeneration Strategy provides a clear vision and framework for the long term development of Alice over the next 15 to 20 years. It focuses on three strategic objectives:
- Integration of UFH and Lovedale with Alice to become a true “university town”;
- Supporting a sustainable community by preserving and restoring community assets and unlocking economic opportunities; and
- Developing an economically active, culturally vibrant community by encouraging investment
The development partners in the ARP are committed to address key enablers that underpin the strategic objectives, namely the disposal of state-owned land, the upgrading of infrastructure, and a commitment to an integrated and inclusive approach to development in Alice. The following 4 catalytic projects of the ARP will be implemented by ASPIRE in the next two years, namely:
- Constructing a paved walkway, steel suspension bridge and electrical lighting to link the Alice Central Business District (CBD) to Lovedale College and Victoria Hospital.
- Upgrading the public transport hub in Alice;
- Upgrading the Alice CBD and Civic Core; and
- Upgrading of Gaga Street and the Alice Sports and Education precinct.
These catalytic projects are supported by a range of development initiatives in Alice by other development partners already in various stages of implementation, namely the:
- Alice AgriPark managed by UFH and supported by the Dept of Rural Development & Land Reform which promotes and develops agriculture and agro-processing in Alice;
- Opening of the Alice Museum, supported by Nkonkobe Municipality;
- Upgrading of the gateways into Alice by NEDA, supported by the Dept of Environmental Affairs;
- Release of State Owned Properties in Alice, championed by the Eastern Cape Dept of Roads and Public Works and Nkonkobe Municipality;
- Development of on-campus student accommodation village by UFH;
- Development of an Alice Business Development, Support and Incubation Centre, supported by the MTN Foundation, ECITI, NYDA and SEDA
- Raising awareness of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by UFH;
- The preservation and restoration of ZK Matthews house by Amathole District Municipality, supported by UFH and DRPW.
To kick-start the developments, National Treasury’s National Development Partnership grant has allocated a funding envelope to Aspire of R273 million to include the small towns of Alice, Butterworth, Dutywa, Hamburg and Stutterheim.