In this file picture, a man walks with a car tyre as he barricades the street during a service delivery protest in Alexandra. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - One of the organisers of the #AlexShutDown protest has dismissed claims that their planned march to Sandton was just a ploy to disrupt upcoming elections to be held on May 8.

Sandile Mavundla said the issues they had raised affected residents, adding that he does not identify with any political party nor were they trying to cause chaos before elections. 

“Those are just fabricated claims by some of our senior leaders. The issues we are raising affect residents as a whole and all political parties are affected by this,” he said

Alexandra residents braved the cold and made their way to Sandton on Monday to hand over a memorandum of grievances at the City of Joburg's regional office. This comes after a week of protests over overcrowding, lack of basic services and housing in the township.

“We submitted our memorandum to the City in February and no one from the City had engaged with us on the issues addressed in the memorandum,” Mavundla said.

“Our memorandum includes issues of service delivery, erection of illegal structures, infrastructure and a need for a business hub,” he added.

Mavundla said the City’s mayor Herman Mashaba has not yet set a date to meet them and had only heard through media that he will be addressing the community at Marlboro Hall on April 15.

“We did not get any formal response from the mayor and we only heard through the periphery of the media that he will be at Marlboro addressing the community,” he said

“We cannot wait for 15 April and Marlboro Hall will not accommodate everyone. The hall can only accommodate Marlboro residents,” he added.

According to Johannesburg Metro Police Department's (JMPD) Wayne Minnaar, the situation in the area was still calm.

Minnaar added that there was a deployment plan by the JMPD to monitor the situation and that law enforcement agencies were working together.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini of the provincial police said they had not received complaints of any major incidents regarding the planned march and that officers had been deployed to monitor it.

The Star