Herman Mashaba and the Alexandra unrest: a timeline

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has been in the spotlight following the protests in Alex.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has been in the spotlight following the protests in Alex.
Image: Sunday Times

Almost a week into the protest action in Alexandra township, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has been subjected to criticism on how he has handled the protests. 

Residents of Alex took to the streets on April 3 protesting against poor waste management, housing, crime and substance abuse in the community.

Just weeks away from the national elections, Mashaba's response to the service delivery protest has been closely monitored by the ANC and the public. 

Residents demand an address from Mashaba

Hours after the protests kicked off Mashaba received pressure from the public to respond.

Mashaba released a statement expressing his sympathy for the Alex residents. He attributed the housing crisis in the township to the failures of the previous ANC administration.

Michael Sun 

Mashaba said he was unavailable to meet with protesters on the day. Instead, Johannesburg mayoral committee member for public safety Michael Sun would address the community. 

When Sun arrived in Alex, protesters demanded to engage with Mashaba and not Sun. The mayor said he was "angered and concerned" as he claimed that Sun was racially abused by ANC-led protesters.

Mashaba answers Ramaphosa's call 

The mayor said he had noted President Cyril Ramaphosa's call to address the people of Alex.

Mashaba said he would only account for the two years that the DA has governed in Johannesburg, and that Ramaphosa would have to account for more than 20 years of lack of service delivery in Alex. 

Engaging with the community

Mashaba said he will be leading an engagement with the people of Alex on April 15. The mayor said that the meeting will allow him and the community to engage on budgets and service delivery. 

Mashaba writes to Ramaphosa 

After Gauteng premier David Makhura confirmed that Ramaphosa would visit Alex on Thursday, Mashaba asked Ramaphosa to not take a "party political approach" when addressing the community in Alex.  

Mashaba asked Ramaphosa if his visit could be an "intergovernmental" engagement that involves the local, provincial and national structures.

Residents of Alexandra have been protesting for service delivery for over a week now, and a drive into the township reveals just how deep in rubbish Alexandra really is. TimesLive went into the community to find out what issues residents face.