Mashaba goes to Alex on fact-finding mission over demolition of houses

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JOHANNESBURG, June 3 – Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba will on Monday visit Alexandra to map a way forward with residents after at least 80 houses built on illegally occupied land were demolished last week.

Alexandra residents were left destitute without houses when the Red Ants, the police and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) moved in to demolish some houses in Stjwetla, Ward 109, on Thursday.

The demolition of houses has become a political football with the African National Congress-led provincial government blaming the Democratic Alliance-led City of Joburg administration for carrying out the demolitions.

But the City of Joburg said that the demolition, which sparked protests by residents, appeared to have been conducted without correct procedures being followed.

Protesters started to block Gautrain operations on Friday following demolitions in Alexandra.

The City said that Mashaba’s intention of this community engagement was to establish the facts after having met with the JMPD on Monday morning.

Gauteng member of the executive council (MEC) for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Lebogang Maile, also visited Alexandra over the weekend and assisted more than 160 destitute families were assisted with supper and foodstuff.

Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Public Protector on Monday convened the third session of the inquiry into socio-economic conditions in Alexandra, following weeks of service delivery protest in the area prior to the May 8 general elections.

– African News Agency (ANA)