SAHRC subpoenas City of Joburg, Premier's office and Cogta over Alexandra

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Protests rock Alexandra. (Thabang Mathibedi)
Protests rock Alexandra. (Thabang Mathibedi)

The plight of residents in Alexandra should be addressed by government, and politicians should not use their concerns as an election campaign tool, said the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

The commission has served Johannesburg City Manager, Ndivhoniawani Lukhwareni, the Gauteng Corporative Governance's head of department Thandeka Mbasa, and the Director General in the office of the premier Phindile Balenito with subpoenas to appear before the commission on Thursday, to answer to allegations of socio-economic infringements in the township.

"On Monday, the commission will go to Alex as part of information gathering exercise before Thursday," said Buang Jones, the Commission's head in Gauteng.

"The reason for inviting the government to account to matters in Alexandra is also to make sure that politicians don’t use the concerns of residents as a way of getting votes," continued Jones.

Over a week ago, angry residents blocked roads leading into the area with rubble, burning tyres and rocks as they led the #AlexShutDown demonstrations.

On Thursday, a small group of residents started protesting again before suspending their action until Friday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the protest struck Alexandra in his capacity as ANC president on Thursday, and told the crowd that their message was very clear and it has reverberated throughout the country.

"You people of Alex are sick and tired. You want better service delivery. You want people who are going to serve you better so your lives can improve," said the president.

READ: Mashaba meets councillors over Alexandra grievances

He also told the crowd that a mayor should not be afraid of his people, making reference to mayor Herman Mashaba who was yet to visit the township.

Jones said that "post elections, there will still be these issues unattended in Alex, so government must come and give their account of service delivery or the lack thereof in the area".

Mashaba on Friday met with councillors to address their grievances.

Mashaba and speaker of council Vasco da Gama had put the blame on the ANC for the Alex strike and called on the parties to put their political differences aside.

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