News / South Africa / Protests

Gopolang Moloko
3 minute read
3 Apr 2019
11:21 am

WATCH: Resident speaks on Alex shutdown while Mbalula looks for Mashaba

Gopolang Moloko

Locals demand intervention from mayor Mashaba and have blocked off roads as a result.

Protest action has flared up in Alexandra township in Johannesburg over service delivery. Angry residents have taken to the streets in protest, alleging they are neglected by the City of Johannesburg and citing the mushrooming of shacks in the area.

Photo: Tracy Lee Stark

Roads have been barricaded and blocked with burning tyres, as hundreds marched demanding better basic services.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) had earlier said the blockades were moved and traffic was flowing, but reports have since been received that several areas were still ablaze with protesters fiercely chanting for answers from the local councilor and government.

“The situation in Alexandra is under control. Two protesters have been arrested and the rest have been dispersed and a huge contingent of officers has been deployed since 3am this morning” said Wayne Mienaar, spokesperson for the JMPD.

Police and the JMPD have been deployed in the area since around 3am.

Locals are angry that the councillor has not developed the area and has not dealt with illegal structures, which they say continue to mushroom.

Photo: Tracy Lee Stark

Photo: Tracy Lee Stark

A local resident, Tshepo Medina, said the community was fed up with the current state of the township. He said the youth had taken it upon themselves to protest for those without houses.

Tshepo Medina speaks

Alexandra residents, angry that the city council has not developed the area and has not clamped down on illegal structures, barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres.

Posted by The Citizen News on Wednesday, 3 April 2019

(Video taken by Tracy Lee Stark)

“The local government of [Herman] Mashaba has failed in it’s obligation to deliver meaningful services to the people of Alexandra. The JMPD under Mashaba has failed to prevent illegal invasions in areas of Alex such as Far East, East Bank, West Bank, River Park Ext and various parts of Marlboro,” Medina said.

“City Power working with JMPD have allowed illegal connections by these rising squatters. They have not done any disconnections since the building of these illegal structures.

“JMPD and Joburg Water have not done anything to prevent illegal connections on the municipal infrastructure. The meters of formal residents are 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. Pik-It-Up 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.”

A statement from the ANC in Alexander said the party endorsed the move by residents in the area to shut down the township this morning.

The Citizen’s photographer Tracy Stark who is at the scene said shops and some schools were closed as a result of the shutdown.

Protesters demand action

Alex residents demand action from Herman Mashaba.

Posted by The Citizen News on Wednesday, 3 April 2019

(Videos taken by Tracy Stark)

Alexandra protest

Locals avoid barricaded roads in Alex during Wednesday morning's protest.

Posted by The Citizen News on Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Meanwhile, the ANC’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula has been active on social media calling for mayor Mashaba’s attention to the Alex crisis.

(Additional reporting by ANA)

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