Residents protest poor municipal regulations in Alexandra, Johannesburg

The protesters expressed their concerns over the increasing number of shacks without proper municipal requirements.
An Alexandra township resident gestures and they part is clashes with the Johannesburg Metro Police on April 3, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa during a total shutdown of the township due to protest against the lack of service delivery or basic necessities such as access to water and electricity, housing difficulties and lack of public road maintenance. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

Residents in Alexandra in Ward 105, Johannesburg, are protesting what they believe is poor regulation of infrastructure development and are pushing for a total shutdown of the township.

On Monday, the protest was endorsed by the ANC in the greater Alexandra region, encouraging residents to join the protest. The ANC in the region asked for a peaceful protest, urging residents to avoid the destruction of people’s properties and existing government infrastructure.

Alexandra Police Station spokesperson Captain Stephen Malatjie said they were aware of the campaign and that they would monitor it to ensure that no one is hurt while also allowing the residents to express their rights.

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However, on Wednesday morning, roads were blocked with rocks and burning tyres as the protests escalated, requiring the intervention of the local police to curb the attempted total shut down of the township. The protesters expressed their concerns over the increasing number of shacks rising in the neighbourhood without proper municipal requirements.

Many of the protesters took to social media with the tag #AlexTotalShutdown, to express their concerns.

One of the organisers of the protests, Thandiwe Mthombeni, explained that the municipality does not attend to the problems of the people. He also said that the police were also informed of the development of illegal structures but they also ignored calls from the residents.

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Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said they have arrested two suspected leaders of the protests.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said officers had dispersed protesters who were trying to block N3 Marlboro and the Old Pretoria main road, after blocking the Far East Bank road, next to the Gautrain station.

A spokesperson for the party in the region said JMPD and Joburg Water had done nothing to prevent illegal connections on the municipal infrastructure.

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