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Vavi: Time for black working class to stand up and protest

Saftu has thrown its weight behind the protests in Alexandra, calling on residents in other townships around the country to join the demonstration, with Zwelinzima Vavi saying that residents have been left with no other option but to take to the streets.

FILE: Alexandra community members blocked Grayston Drive in Sandton on 8 April 2019 as they made their way to the Gauteng local municipal offices to meet with Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

ALEXANDRA - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has thrown its weight behind the protests in Alexandra, calling on residents in other townships around the country to join the demonstration.

The union says it supports the residents who have vowed to take to the streets again on Thursday if their demands are not met.

Protestors from the Alexandra total shutdown movement marched to Sandton on Monday, hoping to deliver a memorandum to Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba but he failed to arrive.

WATCH: Alexandra Residents: This could have been avoided by Mashaba

Saftu said that the demonstrations in Alexandra have been a long time coming.

The first leg of the protests kicked off last week, building up to Monday’s march to the Sandton municipal offices.

The union’s Zwelinzima Vavi said that some of the poorest members of the country have been left with no other option but to take to the streets.

“We think that the time has come for the black working class to stand up and to protest.”

Alexandra ward councillor Adolf Moremi agreed: “We are peaceful people who are demanding that while we are still staying in our little shacks, take our refuse. While we are in our little shacks, deal with encroaching of law [sic].”

After being disappointed by Mashaba's no-show on Monday, protestors are now calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier David Makhura to address them.

A failure to which they have threatened to set the streets of Alex on fire.