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#AlexTotalShutdown: Two suspected 'ring leaders' arrested

03 April 2019 - 07:12 By Iavan Pijoos and PENWELL DLAMINI
Protesters in Alexandra blocked roads on Wednesday morning. They list a lack of service from rubbish-removal company Pikitup among their grievances.
Protesters in Alexandra blocked roads on Wednesday morning. They list a lack of service from rubbish-removal company Pikitup among their grievances.
Image: File photo

Two suspected "ring leaders" were arrested at the #AlexTotalShutdown on Wednesday morning, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said.

JMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said a small group of protesters was burning tyres on Lenin Road, Vasco Road and 4th Avenue.

Marlboro Road, next to the Sasol filling station, and the Far East Bank road, next to the Gautrain station, had also been blocked by protesters. 

Minnaar said officers had dispersed protesters attempting to block the N3 Marlboro and the Old Pretoria main road.

He said traffic in the area had not been heavily affected.

On Monday evening, the ANC in the greater Alexandra region endorsed the shutdown, calling on residents to take part and encouraging a peaceful demonstration.

Residents of Alexandra in Johannesburg blocked roads in various parts of the area on April 2 2019 over what they say is poor service delivery and a lack of development.

"No demolitions or burning of already existing government infrastructure and properties (cars, businesses) of our people," the statement read.  

The ANC in the region had accused the JMPD and Joburg Water of not "doing anything" to prevent illegal connections on the municipal infrastructure.

"The meters of formal residences are being compromised. JMPD under (DA mayor Herman) Mashaba has been reduced to only (placing) speed traps and ticket issuing, rather than effective policing of our metro.

"Bylaws are not enforced. (The) JMPD of Mashaba is in a honeymoon."

Zone secretary Banele Sangcozi said the city had failed to cut the grass in the area and that Pikitup was not collecting waste in the township.

"Waste is not regularly picked up. In some instances it is left to pile up in different corners of Alexandra."

A resident, who asked not to be named, explained the source of the tensions.

“I was born and bred in Alexandra. Today we are protesting to bring our Alexandra back. We are sick and tired of (the) corruption that has been going on.

"Our land has been invaded by intruders. People coming from outside want to take what belongs to us. We are not fighting anyone. We are just making a statement to be heard."

She said that foreigners were occupying RDP houses and taking over every piece of vacant land in the area to build shacks.

“Crime is getting worse. We have a police station that doesn’t work for us as a community,” she said.

Other residents complained that there were too many drugs in the township and accused the police of not responding to calls to arrest those involved in crime.

In January, Alexandra residents began evicting people from some RDP houses, saying they had benefited from corruption in the allocation of the properties.


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