Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has accused the City of Joburg under mayor Herman Mashaba of failing to protect property owners in Alexandra from those who were arriving and illegally erecting structures on their land.

On Tuesday, Makhura visited the township that has seen massive protests since last week as residents complained about basic service delivery shortcomings and demanded that Mashaba visit them to address their grievances.

The ANC has been accused by the DA of being behind the protests as part of electioneering for the general elections on May 8.

Makhura, who is also the Gauteng ANC chairperson, has rejected the allegations against his party, adding that several complaints from Alexandra residents had been ignored by Mashaba, including that of land invasions.

“Every piece of land in Alexandra is being illegally invaded and structures are being set up. It has now gone even to schools.

“At the back of schools, every available piece of land gets invaded and structures are being built.

“The community said they have made representations a few times to the City of Joburg just to come and act on by-law enforcement,” Makhura said.

He added that illegal structures were sprawling despite a court order that had been obtained by concerned property owners to block it.

Makhura said land invasions were frustrating attempts to develop the townships as it was always congested.

While Makhura maintained that the protests were not linked to the elections, he said sewage was ­flowing through Alexandra, and that there was no refuse removal under the DA-led metro.

“There used to be refuse removal on a daily basis in Alexandra, and they are now saying up to seven days pass without refuse removal.

“These service delivery issues are overshadowed by one thing, and that is the illegal structures that are coming up everywhere,” he said.

DA Gauteng leader John Moodey accused the ANC of leading a programme of violence and unrest in the township.

Moodey called for accountability for the R1.7billion that had been earmarked for the Alex Renewal Project.

“The DA has long called for accountability for these stolen funds and presented evidence, but this has fallen on deaf ears.

“Now that the ANC no longer governs Joburg and faces losing Gauteng, they have resorted to a co-ordinated programme of anarchy and criminality in Alex,” Moodey said.

Makhura, however, has dismissed Moodey’s allegations that the national government has pumped billions of rand into the Alex Renewal Project.

“The Alex Renewal Project was funded by the City of Joburg and the provincial government.

“The provincial government will be able to demonstrate every budget that we put into the Alex Renewal Project. We built schools, clinics and houses,” he said.

Makhura added that the city would also have to open up its books on its expenditure on the project.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit the township tomorrow where he is expected to respond to the demands of the protesting residents.

Political Bureau