South Africa: Protests - Alexandra Under Total Shutdown

Service delivery protests in Alexandra.

One of the South Africa's oldest townships, Alexandra near Sandton, Johannesburg, was shut down completely following protests on Wednesday morning.

In a statement by residents that has been doing rounds on social media since Tuesday, residents are shutting down the township, demanding services from the DA-led municipality.

Police and JMPD officers have deployed a large contingent of officers to the area.

The ANC Zone 13 in Alexandra said it supported the proposed mass action planned for the Wednesday, aimed at forcing the City of Joburg to do its job, as mandated by residents.

ANC zonal secretary, Banele Sangcozi, said the party supported residents who are accusing the local government, led by DA Mayor Herman Mashaba, of failing its obligation to deliver meaningful services to the people of Alexandra.

The JMPD was also accused to having failed to prevent illegal invasions in Alexandra in areas such as Far East, East Bank, West Bank, River Park extensions 7, 9 and 10, Marlboro and other areas inside the township.

City Power, working with the JMPD, have seemingly allowed illegal connections by these rising squatters and have not made any disconnections since the erection of illegal structures in these areas.

Illegal connections

In addition, the JMPD and Joburg Water have reportedly not done anything to prevent illegal connections on the municipal infrastructure, leading to the meters of formal residences being compromised.

"JMPD under Mashaba has been reduced to only speed traps and ticket issuing, rather than effective policing of our metro. Bylaws are not enforced. JMPD of Mashaba is in a honeymoon," according to a statement by residents.

"Pikitup is also failing to keep our township clean. Waste is not regularly picked up. In some instances it is left to pile up in different corners of Alexandra. City Parks is failing to regularly cut grass in parks and along the roads. The whole of Lenin Drive and Far East Bank drive have long grass. It has been like this since late 2018," read the statement.

Some of the parks have been invaded and City Parks has done nothing to prevent these invasions, according to residents.

They also accused the Johannesburg Road Agency of dragging its feet to maintain our roads.

"We are always subjected to potholes. People in some instances are forced to mend potholes with soil. Alexandra has became a den of lawlessness. Mashaba is asleep on duty," residents claim.

"We therefore support residents in [an] effort to force Mashaba to do his work. In solving the issue of housing, we also call on [the] human settlements department to move with speed and resolve the Frankenwold issue and Alex City.

"We call upon all residents of Alexandra to join the shutdown. We also encourage a peaceful demonstration."

The statement called for "no demolitions or burning of already existing government infrastructure and properties (cars, businesses) of our people".

Source: News24

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