Alex fire highlights lack of housing

Issues of housing have come to the fore again in Alexandra where more than ten houses were destroyed in a fire over the Easter weekend.

Issues of overcrowding were at the heart of recent protests in the Johannesburg township, where residents complain that 25 years into democracy, thousands of families still live in poor conditions.

The weekend blaze engulfed houses on 14th Avenue, and residents speculate that an electrical fault caused the fire.   Thoko Mbukazi, who lost her home in the fire, said, “the electricity went off and it came back around 11:00 pm and that’s when the fire started.”

Residents say they have lost all their belongings including ID documents and clothing and are pleading to the community for assistance.

The African National Congress (ANC) in Alex used the opportunity to campaign by coming to the community’s aid with food parcels and blankets.

ANC’s ward 76 Councilor Mosses Pandeka said, “the City of Joburg is run by the DA but it is still our responsibility to assist the community because they are the voters.”

An investigation into the fire has since be launched. – Alex FM (edited by Siya Motha)

Alex residents Thoko Mbukazi and Zodwa Ngwenyama Mamabolo describe their losses in the devastating Easter weekend fire
APC accuses EFF, ANC of removing posters in Alex

APC accuses EFF, ANC of removing posters in Alex

The African People’s Convention (APC) in Alexandra has accused the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African National Congress (ANC) of removing APC campaign material in the community.

The APC’s  Thabo Mopase said he had received a tip-off from a community member that children dressed in black T-shirts with ANC regalia were removing his party’s posters. “We realized that this problem was not done by ordinary children, they might have been youth who are well coordinated to do this,” Mopase said.

Mopase, who left the ANC’s Alexandra branch in December 2018 to join the APC, has since requested the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to investigate, as he believes the incident represents a violation of their freedom of expression and the rules of open, free and fair democratic elections.

According to the IEC’s Electoral Code of Conduct it is prohibited to destroy, remove or deface posters of other political parties.

The ANC secretary in Alexandra,  Banele Sangcozi, has refuted Mopase’s claims stating that the party advocates for political tolerance.  Sangcozi has called Mopase to provide evidence of ANC members’ involvement, and says he will deal with any members found to have been involved.

Meanwhile the chairman of the ANC in Alexandra, Thulani Ndlovu, has launched a formal investigation into Mopase’s claims. – Alex FM (edited by Veronical Makhoali)

The APC’s Thabo Mopase accuses other parties of taking down posters
The ANC’s Banele Sangcozi says his party is tolerant of others
Taxi party promises safe ranks

Taxi party promises safe ranks

Taxi operations came to a halt in Alexandra as taxi operators and commuters gathered in large numbers at Alex Sankapano Stadium for a meeting by the taxi industry party, the Alliance Transformation For All (ATA).

This forms part of ATA’s campaign  as political parties rally to convince South Africa to cast their vote come May 8.

ATA Provincial Secretary, Emily Thubela says the purpose of the gathering on April 17 was to raise awareness about ATA’s objective and mission for the taxi industry.  Thubela pleaded with the audience to vote for ATA so that it has a voice in parliament to raise concerns regarding the transport industry subsidies. “BRT buses and Gautrain are given subsidies by government whilst the taxi industry does not receive any. We want subsidies so that we can reduce taxi fares for our commuters,” she added.

ATA’s Jabulani Ntshangase reverberated Thubela’s concerns, saying that the party is not only for the taxi industry but for all involved, including metered taxi operators and hawkers.

Ntshangase promised voters that the party will transform the industry “we will make sure that security guards are on the road 24/7 to protect our mothers. We will ensure all taxi ranks have security guards that belong to our party,” he said.

Ntshangase says they will be expanding their election campaign to  other provinces in the country. – Alex FM (edited by Veronica Makhoali)

Jabulani Ntshangase of the ATA

Emily Thubela of the ATA

Alex protests continue as DA, ANC point fingers at each other

The #AlexShutdown protest saw residents march into Sandton to hand over a memorandum of demands on April 8, as parties continued to point fingers at each other.

However the memorandum was not received by the municipal director or the executive Mayor Herman Mashaba as residents requested.

Speaking to Local Voices, Alex FM reporter Malesela Mangena  said the protest has been postponed until Thursday, 11th April. He reported that organisers fear the protest may become chaotic and found it best to suspend the march as residents have become inpatient with the municipal office.

In response to the #AlexShutdown, Gauteng Premier  David Makhura announced on Twitter that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the community of Alexandra on Thursday at Alex Stadium.

Responding to the Democratic Alliance’s claim that the African National Congress is inciting violence in Alex, he said the opposition is “blame-shifting” and not delivering to the community.

The ruling party’s  Tumelo Ramoshala said “the ANC is sharing the same sentiment as the community of Alexandra and raising out their own grievances over the dissatisfaction of service delivery.”

He adde it was unfortunate that Solly Msimanga, DA candidate for Gauteng Premier, was trying to shift attention from the issue of service delivery to its political opponents. 

Alex FM reporter Malesela Mangena describes events in Alexandra
Alex community vows to shut down Sandton

Alex community vows to shut down Sandton

As protests in Alexandra continued for the third day on Friday, residents expressed frustration at the failure of DA mayor Herman Mashaba to come and meet them and vowed to close down neighbouring Sandton on Monday.

The protests began in the early hours of Wednesday, April 3, when residents gathered in large numbers to protest against poor service delivery, illegal structures and lack of development in their community.

Roads were barricaded with tyres and rubble. It was reported that police dispersed protester with rubber bullets and teargas.

On Friday, Mashaba announced he would attend a meeting with the community on Monday at 10am. But residents gathered for a meeting expressed their dissatisfaction, and vowed to close down Sandton on Monday.  Shirley Mathakga, reporter at Alex FM attended the meeting and said residents were unhappy that the mayor was communicating with them via mainstream and social media rather than addressing them directly.

Alex FM reporter Shirley Mathakga reports