It's the ANC's fault - Mashaba responds to Alexandra protests

2019-04-03 15:59
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Jabu Kumalo

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Jabu Kumalo

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Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has responded, in a statement, to protesters from Alexandra near Sandton, Johannesburg, who said they would be shutting down the township and are demanding services from the DA-led municipality.

"I have noted protests taking place in Alexandra as they relate to housing challenges and illegal occupation of land within the community," Mashaba said in a statement.

"I deeply sympathise with the challenges experienced by the residents of Alex.

"For decades, the people of Alex have continually been let down by previous administrations in the provision of housing and addressing migration into the community.

"Indeed, during the local government elections of 2016, the ANC, province and the previous administration committed to providing investment into the area so as to address housing challenges and development in the area," Mashaba said. He attached the agreement of intent to his statement. 

Empty ANC promises

"This commitment was made without any financing and consolidated strategic plan for meeting the commitment – it was nothing more than an empty ANC promise.

"This is not only true for the people of Alex but the city as a whole," Mashaba said.

"Since coming into office, the multi-party government has consistently sought to engage province and national government in securing funding that can be used to not only adequately meet our housing demands within the city – with a need of over 300 000 units -  but to also address the massive migration challenges faced by the City.

"On both counts, the City's attempts at engagement have fallen on deaf ears.

"As the new administration, we are working to progressively meet the housing demand and development needs of our communities within our available resources and bring Diphetogo to communities."

Mashaba said the City had already begun its inner-city revitalisation project aimed at creating affordable housing opportunities for those in our poorest communities.

"In addition, we have made room for development within the City through budget allocations in our adjustment budget.

"In relation to the community of Alex, the multi-party government's service delivery record in Alexandra demonstrates how this previously forgotten community is receiving the full attention of the multi-party government."

Mashaba then lists a number of improvements the multi-party government has implemented in the township. 

Policing is the responsibility of national government

The mayor said policing remained the competency of the provincial and national government.

"Within our limited jurisdiction, the City is working to keep communities safe through the acquisition of 1 500 new JPMD officers who are set to complete training soon. This will allow the City to provide increased visible policing in communities, especially our informal settlements.

"I have also noted the ANC's concern regarding the alleged sale of illegal occupied stands within the community - a matter [of] serious concern for the City as well.

"However, it is ironic that this would be a concern for the ANC given that we have witnessed the ANC's very own, former MMC of Housing, Dan Bovu, being implicated in this type of illegal activity. This case related to the alleged illegal sale of state land to vulnerable people within our society.

"Accused individuals out on bail cannot directly or indirectly interfere with witnesses and yet the very same trust that was established by Bovu, that received the proceeds of the illegal sale of land, was allegedly used to pay the material witnesses in order that they would no longer be willing to testify.

"This matter is one which the ANC needs to answer for," Mashaba said. 

"As a City, we will continue to do all we can to ensure that change is brought to our communities."

Read the full statement here:

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  politics  |  service delivery
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