Joburg mayor fails to meet marchers

2012-09-06 19:16
The City of Johannesburg will deploy 1 300 law enforcers in all wards as part of a new approach of visible, ward-based law enforcement, Mayor Parks Tau says. (File, City Press)

The City of Johannesburg will deploy 1 300 law enforcers in all wards as part of a new approach of visible, ward-based law enforcement, Mayor Parks Tau says. (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg - Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau was not available to accept a memorandum of demands from a crowd which marched to his office on Thursday.

Tau's legal representative Phakedi Masakela accepted the demands on the mayor's behalf.

"I can assure you the mayor will look into them [the demands] and deal with the issues," he said.

The marchers included members of the SA Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA National Civic Organisation.

SACP district secretary Mandla Radebe read out the list of demands.

"Whether the mayor is here or not, we are going to deliver this memorandum.

"This is the beginning of rolling mass action."

Radebe read the demands as lightning crashed and rain spattered the crowd.

The marchers said they were dissatisfied with the city's tender system and felt that service delivery was too slow. In addition, they wanted labour brokering to be banned.

"There is a lack of consultation in the running of the city. We note with dismay that Facebook and social networks are used for consultation."

This excluded the majority of residents, who could not afford internet access, Radebe said.

In many areas of greater Johannesburg, there was no access to water, no clinics, schools or refuse removal, he said.

Soon afterwards, the crowd dispersed as the rain came down and the top of the Parktonian Hotel vanished into a cloud of mist.

Empty promises

Earlier, about 200 people gathered at Beyers Naudé Square, in the city centre before the march began at noon.

The crowd carried placards highlighting their complaints.

One read: "Who said Mountainview a zoo". Another demanded clinics, schools, housing, water and police stations for Mountainview.

Anchorville resident Nombulelo Mashalaba said politicians had been promising basic amenities such as roads, electricity and sanitation since she arrived in the area in December 2008, but these had not materialised.

"Its just empty promises," she said.

She hoped the mayor would respond to their appeals.

Mashalaba and a group of women said they needed scholar transport in particular, as their children had to travel long distances to get to school.

"It costs R180 each month for my children to get to school."

Anchorville is in the south of Johannesburg, near Lenasia.

Another resident, who identified himself only as Abraham, said residents had been told to leave their homes because they were built on dolomitic rock.

"If they want us to move, they must move us somewhere else, and they must move our shacks too," he said.

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