PORT ELIZABETH - Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has slammed ANC councillors for electioneering and called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to participate in finding a non-partisan solution to the Alexandra service delivery protests that erupted on 3 April.
Mashaba said in a statement that ANC members have hijacked the legitimate concerns of residents of Alex as an electioneering tactic following protests on Monday to the city's Region E offices in Sandton where the city manager, Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni, was prevented from accepting a memorandum of grievances from the #AlexTotalShutDown protesters.
"The ANC’s conduct today has again exhibited its electioneering tactics as the only motivation behind the protests – sacrificing the legitimate concerns of residents," Mashaba said in the statement.
He lambasted ANC councillors for similar conduct last week when the MMC for safety Michael Sun was prevented from receiving a memorandum from protesters last week.
"ANC councillors leading that protest sought to incite the crowd into racially abusing the MMC. In their efforts to encourage the crowd into racially abusing MMC Sun, these so-called leaders went so far as to address their ANC followers by saying, 'Look, a white man is here to address you'." the mayor said.
"In a video, the jeering ANC members can clearly be heard screaming 'No ching chong' and 'No Hong Kong' in an effort to strip Michael of his dignity," Mashaba said.
Mashaba said that the DA was ready to discuss the real problems of the people and he challenged "the ANC government to come speak to its 'successes' in Alexandra over the last 25 years".
"In order to engage with the legitimate concerns of the people in Alexandra, I have already committed to engaging with residents at the schedule IDP meeting set for the 15th of April 2019," adding that he would meet Ward and public representative councillors of the people of Alexandra.
He hoped to develop a shared approach to avoid "the petty politics" displayed during the protests over the past week, Mashaba said.
"Over and above this, I have written to President Ramaphosa after learning of his stated plans to visit Alexandra on Thursday 11 April 2019, and those of Premier Makhura on tomorrow (9 April),"
"In my letter today, I have requested the president to avoid a party political approach to the situation in Alexandra that has characterised the protests to date.
"I have asked president Ramaphosa for Thursday’s visit to be an inter-governmental engagement with the people of Alexandra, with National, Provincial and Local Government," Mashaba said.
"I hope that president Ramaphosa will provide leadership that transcends the petty party political approach to date. The grievances of the people of Alexandra are not currently being heard through the political noise, and this is a tragedy," the mayor said.
African News Agency (ANA)