Alexandra residents resumed the Alex Total Shutdown Movement today, saying their demands for basic service delivery have not been met by the City of Joburg.
Leader of the campaign Sandile Mavundla said yesterday they were expecting more than 20,000 people to take part in the march from Alexandra to Sandton.
“As the residents of Alex, we feel that there were no results from the previous march because our demands have not been met.
“We want a clear plan from [Joburg mayor Herman] Mashaba with timeframes so that we can get services and electricity and [technical and vocational education and training] colleges in Alexandra, because there’s only one college here which is underresourced,” said Mavundla.
He said some of the residents’ demands included urgent access to electricity and basic services, such as garbage removal on the streets, as well as the removal of illegal housing structures that have mushroomed around the township.
“Even though there is no load shedding in the country, we are still experiencing electricity outages in Alex.”
Mashaba has hit back, saying the planned march was nothing more than another politically motivated stunt instigated by the ANC, who looted money meant for the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) – which Mavundla disputes.
Mashaba said: “While the multiparty government believes fundamentally in the right to protest and raise grievances, the Alexandra Shutdown Movement must not be mistaken for anything other than a politically sponsored vehicle to protect the corrupt interests of those who have profited from the looting of the ARP.”
Even though the people of Alexandra have legitimate, long-standing and deep-seated grievances, “their living conditions and lack of housing opportunities are a product of how funds intended for Alexandra have been pillaged with impunity for decades”, he said.
“It is not lost upon the residents of Alexandra that the very same politically connected profiteers from the ARP are now being served by the Alexandra Shutdown Movement.
“This is why their demonstrations and marches have numbered very few people, and included many ANC councillors.”
Mashaba was referring to the Ditlodi Community Development Cooperative , which allegedly has ties to protest organisers and was contracted to deliver services to the ARP.
He said that in February 2019, the Johannesburg Development Agency gave notice that this contract would not be extended beyond June, as the funding had ceased from provincial government.
“It is, therefore, no coincidence that the directors of the Ditlodi Community Development Cooperative are the ringleaders of the protests in Alexandra.
— Silindelo Masikane (@Slindelo_M) June 19, 2019
“The directors of this company include none other than Sandile Mavundla, the ringleader of the Alex Shutdown Movement and Tefo Raphadu, the ANC ward councillor,” said Mashaba.
He said an interministerial committee set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the challenges in Alexandra had only met once with the political leadership of the different spheres of government.
“My assertion to this meeting was to insist that until finances are allocated to addressing the challenges, this body will not amount to anything more than another talk shop,” he said.
Some of the demands include:
- Development of Alex.
- Removal of illegal housing structures.
- Access to electricity.
- Service delivery such as garbage removal and water.
- SMME development.
- TVET colleges.
- Entrepreneurship development.