'Cries have fallen on deaf ears': public protector and rights council to probe Alex grievances

10 April 2019 - 16:35 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Residents of Alexandra march over the highway at Grayston Drive. They took their shutdown protest to Sandton on Monday.
Residents of Alexandra march over the highway at Grayston Drive. They took their shutdown protest to Sandton on Monday.
Image: ALON SKUY

The public protector and the SA Human Rights Commission have joined forces to find lasting solutions to the service delivery grievances plaguing Alexandra.

"In our experience, communities take to the streets when they believe their cries have fallen on deaf ears,” said public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Wednesday.

"It is important for people to be aware that chapter 9 of the constitution establishes the Human Rights Commission and my office essentially for people to vindicate their rights on matters such as public service delivery," she said.   

Protesting residents have been up in arms, barricading several roads in the area and marching to the city of Johannesburg offices in nearby Sandton to demand answers from mayor Herman Mashaba, who was not available to meet them at the time.

The commission will, among other things, focus its investigation on human rights issues such as housing, water and sanitation, education, health, and the environment.

Mkhwebane's office will tackle maladministration aspects, including the allocation of resources by respective governments towards the delivery of quality public services in the township.

"My office has accordingly moved swiftly to open an own-initiative investigation file into the matter. Working closely with the Human Rights Commission, we will be interacting with all the role players in the matter with a view to remedying the problems plaguing Alexandra expeditiously," said Mkhwebane.

The decision to merge forces stems from a memorandum of understanding signed last year.


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