JOHANNESBURG, April 15 – Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba will finally go to troubled Alexandra on Monday evening, several days after irate residents demanded an audience with him.
Residents of Alexandra have been protesting for days over mushrooming shacks and poor service delivery.
Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the African National Congress (ANC) leader, went to Alexandra where he observed: “The dirt and filth I have seen here is quite disturbing and I am saying we must remove the dirt from Alexandra. We must clean up Alexandra, Alexandra must be a clean place where our people can live”.
Mashaba belongs to the Democratic Alliance (DA), which runs the City in a coalition with the Economic Freedom Fighters, a far-left party.
Early on Monday, Mashaba’s spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka said: “There will be a proper advisory later on Monday, however, Mayor Mashaba is due at the Marlboro Community Hall at 6 pm. This is part of the scheduled IDP for Alex and region E”.
Disgruntled residents at Alexandra who had been protesting for more than a week have suspended their protests.
During his visit Ramaphosa said a mayor should not be afraid of his people, remarks he made in apparent reference to the no-show Mashaba, who blames the ANC for the troubles in Alexandra.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has since subpoenaed the City of Johannesburg, Premier’s office and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs over the Alexandra matter.
The SAHRC insists the plight of residents in Alexandra should be addressed by government, and politicians should not use the concerns of residents as an election campaign tool.
Police were out in full force in Alexandra on Monday ahead of Mashaba’s visit. (ANA)