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Ramaphosa takes swipe at Mashaba over failure to meet Alex residents

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has come to Alexandra because Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba had failed to do so.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses disgruntled Alexandra residents on 11 April 2019 after a weeklong protest over crime, housing, and drugs. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

ALEXANDRA - President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the people of Alexandra that he was in the township on Thursday because he had listened to their cries.

Ramaphosa spoke to residents at the Alexandra Stadium after a weeklong protest over crime, housing and drugs.

He walked through a crowd of thousands at the stadium where he was given a warm welcome.

Taking a swipe at Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, Ramaphosa said he had come to the township because the mayor had failed to do so.

“The mayor has said he is not going to come now, and I said let me wait so that the mayor who is responsible should come first,” he said.

Speaking in Sesotho, Ramaphosa told the crowd that even though it was an election year, he was brought to the township by the people’s grievances.

Ramaphosa said he was disturbed by the state of the township, saying residents’ concerns had been noted and would be prioritised.

“The dirt and filth I have seen here is quite disturbing and I am saying we must remove the dirt from Alexandra. We must clean up Alexandra, Alexandra must be a clean place where our people can live,” he said.

Ramaphosa was earlier briefed with ministers and ANC members before going door-to-door in Alexandra township.

ANC members and some ministers including Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele were at the Altrec Recreation Centre.

He went there in his capacity as the president of the ANC despite warnings by residents that they do not want political party campaigning.