Thu, 23 May 2019

It is not true that the level of service delivery has dropped in embattled Alexandra, the City of Johannesburg has told the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Office of the Public Protector.

City Manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni appeared before an inquiry panel on Tuesday, headed by the chapter nine institutions, where he submitted that there were several rolling projects in place to improve the socio-economic conditions of Alexandra.

The SAHRC and the Public Protector are probing Alexandra's challenges, following violent protests in the area in April.

"The household waste is still collected seven days a week and the issue of illegal dumping happens from Monday to Friday," Lukhwareni submitted.

He said the City would, however, occasionally experience a dilemma when they missed a day in delivering waste picking services in areas, making it difficult to catch up.

This is just 'a lot of boardroom talk' - Alex resident reacts to SAHRC, Public Protector inquiry

We do go there [to demolish], but it's not possible for us to do it in a way that we are there all the time," he said.

He added that Johannesburg had 131 wards all of which had their own unique problems.

On Monday, residents also complained about an abandoned cemetery. However, Lukhwareni said that after fencing had been placed there, residents stole it.

While delivering his submission, Lukhwareni referred to a slide presentation which showed, among other things, pictures of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department removing illegal structures in the township and also showed all the services he was mentioning.

He said while residents argued about the reduced level of service to the townships, the slides were able to prove to the panel the times and places where services were delivered.

Lukhwareni submitted that while residents had given the panel the impression that the City was not interacting with the community, this was not the case. He stated that they met with councillors several times.

The inquiry continues and the office of the Gauteng premier is also expected to make a submission.

On Wednesday, the inquiry is expected to conclude with submissions from the Department of Human Settlements, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

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