Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
5 Apr 2019
2:59 pm

Mashaba blames ‘malicious reporting’ for expectation he’d visit Alex today

Daniel Friedman

The Joburg mayor, clearly in no hurry to hear the grievances of protesters from the township, says he'll be there on Monday, April 15.

Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba. Picture: Dimpho Maja/ AfricanNewsAgency (ANA)

City of Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba has denied having committed to visit Alexandra township in Northern Gauteng, where a total shutdown has seen protesters, angry at what they believe is inadequate service delivery in the area, bring the area to a standstill.

Mashaba said he had “noted erroneous reports that I was due to engage the residents of Alexandra today. I believe this has been maliciously reported, as I was due to lead a civic funeral in the city of Johannesburg at the same time and could not have made such a commitment”.

He added that he would be leading an engagement with the people of Alexandra on Monday, April 15 2018, over a week from today.

Residents of Alexandra expressed hope that Mashaba would come to provide them with answers on issues of service delivery, illegal structures, and development in the area, Alex News reported earlier on Friday.

Community members are accusing the city of Johannesburg of failing to stop the rapid growth of illegal structures and had vowed to press on with the protest until they heard from the DA mayor.

Multiple sources have indicated that leaders of the protest have now said they’ll take the protest to Sandton, threatening to shut down the area if Mashaba doesn’t arrive on Monday to hear their grievances.

READ MORE: Alex residents call meeting, Mashaba still a no-show

Mashaba, meanwhile, appears to have placed the blame squarely at the feet of the ANC in Gauteng who ran the municipality before the DA taking over, seemingly accepting no responsibility for what is taking place.

“The people of Alex have suffered from decades of promises made on the eve of elections for the sake of political gain. It began with the Alexandra Renewal Project in 2001, the Presidential Priority Project in 2007 and continued with the signing of a Statement of Intent in 2016,” Mashaba said.

“The protests seen this week have their roots in very legitimate grievances of the community in Alexandra and the broken promises made to them,” he added.

“Unlike the past, I will not be involved in an exercise of lying to the people of Alexandra or anywhere else in Johannesburg for this matter.

“It is for this reason that my engagement with the people of Alexandra will take place during the scheduled IDP Public Consultation session on Monday 15 April 2019.

“It will take the form of an engagement around the budget, the key service delivery priorities in the area and the community telling us what they need from government,” Mashaba said.

https://twitter.com/HermanMashaba/status/1114142097504972800

(Additional reporting, Nduduzo Nxumalo and Citizen reporter)

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