Alexandra Township residents have threatened to bring Sandton to a standstill on Monday, while Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said he would only be able to meet them on April 15.
A community meeting was held yesterday at the Sankopano Community Hall, where residents agreed to embark on a second total shutdown on Monday, after Mashaba failed to respond to their grievances.
Mashaba said the protests, which started on Wednesday, were based on legitimate grievances by the community after two decades of empty promises by the ANC.
“Following protests in Alexandra, I will be leading an engagement with the people of Alexandra on Monday, April 15,” said Mashaba on Twitter yesterday.
“I have 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 funeral and could not have made such a commitment.”
Mashaba said the residents had 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.”
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Gauteng premier candidate, Solly Msimanga, said it was becoming clear that the violent protests in Alexandra were not just a service delivery protest.
“It is criminal chaos, which is being carefully coordinated by the ANC and its affiliates, who face electoral loss in Gauteng on May 8,” the party said. “The DA has seen WhatsApp messages from a SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) group, where activities against Mashaba are coordinated.”
“We have further witnessed ANC councillors spurring on protesters to engage in the destruction of property and racially abuse the Joburg MMC for safety, Michael Sun,” said Msimanga.
He said he would be writing to the national police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, to investigate the incitement of violence by the ANC. “I will also ask the chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, whether the prima facie evidence disqualifies the ANC from contesting the elections.”
“For over two decades, the ANC squandered responsibility, leaving in their trail broken promises,” said Msimanga.