Situation tense in Alexandra as protest continues

Alexandra residents have blocked exit and entry points to the northern Johannesburg township.

JOHANNESBURG - Despite the mostly peaceful protests in Alexandra, police aren't ruling out the use of rubber bullets.

Captain Stephen Malatji has confirmed an arrest has been made during the protests.

MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun has arrived in Alexandra.

READ: Alex protesters promise not to harm foreigners

He said he has briefed Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba on the situation.

"We are here to listen and are here to take the necessary steps going forward," said Sun.

But protesters are refusing to let Sun speak, demanding that Mashaba come and address them.

READ: Alexandra residents want Mashaba

Mashaba said in a statement that he sympathises with the challenges experienced by the residents of Alex. 

"For decades, the people of Alex have continually been let down by previous administrations in the provision of housing and addressing migration into the communtiy," the statement read.

"As the new administration, we are working to progressively meet the housing demand and development needs of our communities within our available resources and bring Diphetogo to communities."

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is also on the ground.

READ: Alex residents vow total shutdown over service delivery failures

SAHRC provincial manager Buang Jones said the community has complained about numerous issues.

"We would like to facilitate meaningful engagement between the community, the City of Joburg and the Department of Human Settlements," said Jones.

Residents are demonstrating over poor service delivery and the mushrooming of illegal shacks.

They have blocked exit and entry points to the northern Johannesburg township.

Captain Stephen Malatji explains what it's been like for officers so far.

Source
eNCA