Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has come out fighting on Wednesday afternoon after large-scale protests took over the township of Alexandra. Demonstrators have pinned the blame on the DA-run administration for a lack of service delivery and a recent influx of foreign nationals moving into the area.
Alex Total Shutdown – latest news:
The African National Congress (ANC) in Ward 105 endorsed the uprising but has also called for peaceful protest, in which no government infrastructure is to be destroyed. Ward 105 Councillor, Tefo Raphadu, had previously called on City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba, to come forward and address disgruntled community members.
Their wish was granted just after midday when the mayor issued a statement via his Twitter account. Mashaba brushed off most of the criticism levelled at him, and instead blamed the national government and the ANC who governed Johannesburg pre-2016 for the troubles:
“I deeply sympathise with the challenges experienced by the residents of Alex. They have been let down by previous administrations in the provision of housing and addressing migration into the community.”
“In 2016, the ANC did promise more investment into Alexandra without any financing or a strategic plan for meeting the committment: It was nothing more than an empty ANC promise.”
“Blame ANC for issues with Alexandra” – Herman Mashaba
Mashaba claims that he and the City of Johannesburg have attempted to break the deadlock with both the Gauteng-run ANC and the ruling party’s national branches. But he says they are ignoring his pleas to establish more housing units and help fight “uncontrolled migration”:
“Our administration has consistently sought to engage provincial and national government to secure the funding needed to meet housing demands in Alexandra.”
“There is a need for 300 000 additional units, and to address the massive migration issues facing the city. On both counts, the city’s attempts at engagement have fallen on deaf ears. The matter is one the ANC will have to answer for.”
Alex Total Shutdown leads to finger-pointing
While on the charm offensive, Herman Mashaba reminded citizens that he has overseen R377 million’s worth of investment into the “inner-city revitalization project”, which has gone towards upgrading council flats, sewage structures and electricity functions in Johannesburg.
- Whoever you choose to believe, you can read Herman Mashaba’s statement on the Alex Total Shutdown here:
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) April 3, 2019