Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, following remarks about him by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will today meet with Alexandra councillors to smooth things over ahead of his visit on Monday, and to discuss progress made in the embattled township.
The mayor said the meetings would focus on attending to the grievances of locals, which so far, involved “politicking”.
Ramaphosa, who was in Alexandra on Thursday, had said Mashaba needed to show fearless leadership.
“A mayor shouldn’t be scared of his people, he should be able to face the community. Now he blames ANC.”
It was the responsibility of the Democratic Alliance-led city of Johannesburg to clean up Alexandra township and make sure the people had proper sanitation, Ramaphosa said while addressing locals.
He was responding to concerns raised by residents about poor service delivery and the increase in illegal structures.
Disgruntled Alexandra residents have been protesting for more than a week, demanding an audience with Mashaba who, until today, was a no-show.
“Without putting blame on each other as leaders, we must go out and resolve the issues our people are faced with,” advised Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said he would make sure that provincial and local government leaders met with Mashaba to address the issues raised by the Alex community immediately.
Mashaba has labelled Ramaphosa’s trip to Alex on Thursday an indication of him following in the footsteps of his predecessors.
“Rather than accepting a request for him (Ramaphosa) to be part of an intergovernmental engagement with the community of Alexandra, he opted for an ANC rally.
“Ramaphosa has shown he is, in fact, no different to violent ANC thugs which have hijacked concerns of Alexandra residents.
“As with his predecessors, President Ramaphosa did nothing to address the real issues faced by the residents of Alexandra, but focused on making empty promises and more political rhetoric.
“The people of Alexandra did not have the president of the country today (Thursday), they saw the president of the ANC.
“Ramaphosa refers to some fear of the City of Johannesburg to address the community of Alexandra, a mere few days before our scheduled engagement on Monday 15 April 2019.
“The difference between our multi-party government and Ramaphosa is that we are committed to engaging around plans of actions and budgets.
“It is President Ramaphosa who is afraid.”
(Compiled by Gopolang Chawane)