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Roads barricaded with tyres, rocks as some Alexandra residents protest

Community members have accused the City of Johannesburg of failing to stop the mushrooming of illegal structures in the township.

JMPD officers monitor protest action in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg on 3 April 2019. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Alexandra residents have started gathering for their planned total shutdown of the area.

Several roads have already been barricaded with burning tyres and rocks.

Community members have accused the City of Johannesburg of failing to stop the mushrooming of illegal structures in the township.

One of the organisers, Sandile Mavundla, claimed that their calls for help from the city have not been answered.

"People are building under powerlines and the fire that happened at Stjwetla [informal settlement] it can occur maybe three times and we have a problem with infrastructure."

The #AlexTotalShutdown has brought several areas in the township to a standstill where residents are gathering and burning tyres in at least five different spots.

The community is demanding better service delivery from the city of Johannesburg - one specific issue they want authorities to deal with is the illegal mushrooming of structures.

Standing at a top of a hill overlooking Alexandra township, thick clouds of smoke can be seen billowing in the air.

There's a high police presence in the township with authorities monitoring the protests.

Officers have their hands full trying to clear roads barricaded with rocks and burning tyres.

However, some children can be seen walking to school while residents are making their way to work.

Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson Wayne Minnaar: "There are lots of officers deployed on all the main roads. There has been a small group of protesters burning tyres at Lenin Road and then at Vasco and Fourth Avenue but it hasn't affected functions and traffic flow is normal."

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