Ministers get flak over Alex centenary dispute
DEPUTY Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela and Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile have been accused of political meddling in Alexandra township's centenary celebrations.
Alexandra Land and Property Owners Association (Alpoa) and Alexandra Property Owners' Rights (Apor) have accused both politicians - who also come from the township - of meddling and frustrating the process that was launched in May.
Also, an organisation representing local business people said it had also pulled out of the event because of political interference.
The Greater Alexandra Chamber of Commerce's Sello Manyape said yesterday they had written "a letter of disengagement" to the Alexandra Centenary and Heritage Association (Acha), which Bapela heads, and the Greater Alexandra Development Forum, which had also wanted to be part of the celebrations.
"We cannot afford to associate with processes from which the people of Alexandra are left out," Manyape said.
Alpoa's Jacky Segopa said Bapela had pledged to facilitate the handing over over of 100 title deeds to property owners when he approached the chamber asking to be part of the event. Segopa said Bapela is now avoiding meeting the property owners.
Apor's Vakele Mbalukwana said: "We received a copy of a draft agreement on June 12 when the signing was supposed to have been on June 11. Our name had been misspelt. We wrote back and told them we considered it an insult."
Bapela said he was not aware of the intention of these organisations to pull out of the event. He admitted that Acha had approached community organisations proposing that they hold joint celebrations.
"We also agreed on the carnival in which the people of Alexandra would parade in the streets. Alexandra is a national heritage site because it turns 100 years this year," Bapela said.
Mashatile's office was still considering a request for funding. - email@example.com