Alex residents planning another shutdown for Wednesday

Community members have vowed to close down the township's streets on Wednesday.
Community members have vowed to close down the township's streets on Wednesday.
Image: Alon Skuy

Alexandra is expected to be shutdown for the second time on Wednesday as residents demand that government’s plans to address service delivery problems be implemented speedily.

Convener of the Alex Totalshutdown Sandile Mavundla said while a number of politicians had visited the township in northern Johannesburg since the April protest, very little progress has happened.

“The president [Cyril Ramaphosa] tasked the ministers which were led by then minister of Cogta , Zweli Mkhize to lead an  inter-governmental task team that would work to address the issues in Alexandra.

"The community of Alexandra never got an opportunity to meet with the intergovernmental team. We’ve only been able to meet with the ministers only. The community is now demanding that the team comes and presents a proper framework which they will use to redevelop Alexandra. We don’t want talkshows now,” said Mavundla.

In April, Alexandra was brought to a standstill as residents protested against the mushrooming of illegal structures and lack of basic services and development in the township.

Residents demanded that Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba comes to listen to their grievances. Mashaba described the protests as being politically orchestrated by the ANC.

He later visted Alexandra to speak to the residents at an integrated development plan (IDP) session held at the nearby Marlboro. Irate residents disrupted the IDP session and Mashaba was unable to address them.

Ramaphosa later visited the troubled township during his campaign trail for May 8 general elections. The president told the community that he had formed an inter-ministerial team to meet Mashaba and iron out a plan to solve service delivery challenges in the township.

The team convened towards the end of April and discussed a short-term action plan that would address immediate basic service delivery issues within the next six months.

Among the issues that would be addressed in the six months were:

-An intensive clean-up campaign, including poorly kept cemeteries and over-gown vegetation on the side of the roads; -fix sewerage spillage into the streets;

- Address the proliferation of illegal shacks and other structures that are contravening municipal by-laws; and

-Address the high crime rate and proliferation of illegal weapons used in robbery and murder, making Alex too dangerous to raise families.

Meanwhile, the SA Human Rights Commission and the public protector has begun an inquiry looking into the service delivery problems in Alexandra.

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