Rain no deterrent as Alex residents gear up for march to Sandton

Alexandra residents are calling on government to take action over poor service delivery and are threatening to bring the township to its knees.

Alexandra township residents gesture and chant slogans as they clash with the Johannesburg Metro Police on 3 April 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa during a total shutdown of the township due to a protest against the lack of service delivery. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Despite the heavy downpours on Monday morning, Alexandra residents are gearing up for their march to Sandton to protest a lack of services.

They are calling on the government to take action and are threatening to bring the township to its knees.

While residents wait for a resolution on the matter, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC) in the township have been locked in a war of words, blaming each other for the unrest.

DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga said: “When do we begin or when do we stop to blame? Until the legacy is addressed. You can’t stop. Alex now will need billions. The problems have been led to grow.”

Msimanga said that leaders from the Alexandra shutdown movement had prevented Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba from addressing them.

He said that this is proof that the protests were coordinated by the ANC as an election ploy against the DA.

Police have already started arriving at Sankopano, which is the meeting point ahead of Monday’s march.

With this morning’s rain, the streets are filled with large puddles of water because of the poor drainage system in the township.

This is one of the burning issues that residents want to present to the government when they hand over their memorandum this morning.

It’s been almost a week since messages started circulating, announcing plans to place Alexandra on lockdown.

With two arrests made, rubber bullets fired and countless tyres set alight, protesters in Alexandra have vowed to soldier on until government restores dignity to their community.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)