JHB manager tells SAHRC of difficulties developing Alexandra

2019-04-19 19:19
Johannesburg City Manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni made submissions at an inquiry conducted by the South African Human Rights Commission on what services the City has provided to Alexandra.

Johannesburg City Manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni made submissions at an inquiry conducted by the South African Human Rights Commission on what services the City has provided to Alexandra. (Zoë Postman.)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

On Thursday, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) started an inquiry into the recent spate of protests in Alexandra. The inquiry will consider some of the issues raised during the protests such as the lack of housing, water and sanitation in the township.

City of Johannesburg's City Manager, Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni, made submissions at the inquiry on what the City has done for the area and some of the difficulties it has faced, GroundUp reported.

Lukhwareni began by telling the panel that informal settlements only receive basic services as opposed to affluent suburbs that receive additional services because they are able to pay for it. He said there were over 200 informal settlements in Johannesburg and most of these have existed for more than five years.

Area too dense

He said Alexandra was a difficult place to service because of its spatial planning. The township was very dense and difficult to navigate using heavy machinery which has had an effect on services like rubbish collection.

Lukhwareni said the City wanted to use long and big trucks to collect all the rubbish at once, like it does in other suburbs, but the density and lack of infrastructure in the area does not allow it to do that.

The Expanded Public Works Programme was created to assist with rubbish collection, Lukhwareni explained. "But it created more problems when the same people wanted permanent jobs and the City could not absorb them … Now the programme is not operating as intended and this affects the beneficiaries of the service."

Despite these difficulties, Lukhwareni said the City collected rubbish in the area every day.

But Alexandra Ward Councillor Adolph Marema disputed this. He said the rubbish was not collected every day, sewage was spilling into the streets and the City was not doing anything about it. "He is bringing up all these issues but they are the ones who are supposed to come to the community and prevent these problems from happening," he told GroundUp. Marema said the community had complained several times but to no avail.

'Painting different picture of Alex'

"He is painting a very different picture from the reality we experience in Alex … In fact I want to live in the Alex he is talking about," Marema said.

Lukhwareni said there were about 1 175 chemical toilets in Alexandra. One toilet services about 11 households, which he said was "not that barbaric".

One of the SAHRC panelists, Princess Ka-Siboto, asked Lukhwareni if the provision of basic temporary services, like chemical toilets, in informal settlements was still appropriate after most of the settlements have existed for more than five years.

Lukhwareni said development in these areas has been slow because the City has to get approval from the community before implementing plans. He said negotiations with the community takes longer than a year and "these issues are not cheap".

But the inquiry ended early because the SAHRC panel said the City was not adequately prepared. The panel said it will reconvene on 13 May to give the City more time to prepare a comprehensive report.

"When we reconvene they will be able to account for what they have done for the people. They will be able to provide a detailed version with proper corroboration," Buang Jones, the chairperson of the panel, told GroundUp.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  alexandra  |  protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.