Herman Mashaba’s tweet about Alex and foreigners divides social media

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Gallo Images

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Gallo Images

While some say they agree with him, some say the mayor is again shifting the blame to foreign nationals.

Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba found himself on the wrong side of his Twitter followers during the weekend after his tweet about Alexandra and foreigners. Kay Sexwale took to social media to complain about the rubbish she saw in Alexandra and called for Mashaba to do something about it.

“I was in Alexandra yesterday. Piles of rubbish everywhere. Filth galore. Pikitup’s @CleanerJoburg Twitter handle is an ironic one. @HermanMashaba there are babies being bitten by rats living there, please do something. Dustbins for every household would be a good start,” she said.

Though the mayor responded to Sexwale, social media users said he should not have after he involved the department of home affairs in his response and implied the problem was a result of an influx of undocumented foreigners.

“Please assist us to get @HomeAffairsSA to deal with undocumented foreigner [nationals] in Alexander. [The] uncontrolled number of people in Alex is a challenge way beyond the @CityofJoburgZA ‘s competency,” said Mashaba.

However, his response was criticised by those who said he was deflecting the issue at hand.

“Whataboutism? Please do better than changing topic. Alexander isn’t full of foreigners. It is our people migranted from other provinces into Joburg seeking opportunities. Even if they were foreigners why must any human being exist in filth that is within your control to manage?” asked Sexwale, while @ma_Ndosi said: “As much as there’s an issue of undocumented immigrants in SA which must be tackled through SA laws and fighting corruption at home affairs and SAPS, as many buy their way into SA. I, however, doubt that [the] issue of filth and litter in Alex is due to illegal immigrants.”

These were some of the comments on the mayor’s response:

Also read: Twitter slates Mashaba for criticising ‘skopo’ seller

(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)

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