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SAHRC: ‘Plight of Alex residents should be addressed by govt’

The commission has called on political parties not to use the troubled area as an election campaign tool.

Police confiscate tyres from Alexandra protesters on the Grayston Bridge on 8 April 2019. Picture: Ayanda Nyathi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says the plight of residents in Alexandra should be addressed by the government.

The commission has called on political parties not to use the troubled area as an election campaign tool.

Officials from the City of Joburg, the Gauteng Corporative Governance Department and the Premier's office have been subpoenaed to appear before the commission on Thursday, to answer allegations of socio-economic infringements in the township.

Angry residents blocked roads leading into the area with rubble, burning tyres and rocks as they led the #AlexShutdown demonstrations.

The commission's Buang Jones says, “We use this opportunity to inform the city; the mayor didn’t know that the commission to convene a formal inquiry, no one knew in this room. So, we thought this is a perfect opportunity to announce the commission’s intentions.

“This public inquiry will also be extended to the community of Alexandra where members of the community will be invited to share their lived experiences.”

On Thursday, president Cyril Ramaphosa visited the troubled area and promised residents that government will attend to some of their grievances.

The commission said it will send a team to Alexandra on Monday and Tuesday to gather information to prepare for the public inquiry.

Jones said they have invited senior officials from different government departments in Gauteng and Johannesburg.

Ramaphosa has instructed his ministers to come up with a plan to resolve the issues in the area.

Mashaba has confirmed he will visiting Alexandra on Monday.

Mashaba on Friday met with councillors from various political parties from Alexandra to address their grievances.

Mashaba and speaker of council Vasco da Gama said they were disappointed that African National Congress (ANC) representatives had shunned the discussions.

Those who were present at the meeting included councillors from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as well MMCs of finance, development planning, housing, and public safety as well as representatives from the SAHRC.

Mashaba called on the parties to put their political differences aside and work for the people of South Africa.

EFF councillors said the Democratic Alliance constantly blamed the ANC while the ANC blames apartheid.

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