The City of Johannesburg has broken its silence with regards to the Alexandra evictions.
Mayor Herman Mashaba expressed his disappointment with the demolitions and says he was not informed about plans to evict and demolish the structures.
Over 100 households were destroyed during the forceful evictions that took place on Friday.
With the assistance of Disaster Management, displaced Alexandra residents have sought refuge in vacant and unfinished structures until the municipality provides them with an alternative.
These are circumstances the mayor says could have been prevented if plans to evict were first brought to his attention.
“I’m actually quite angry. Because as the City of Johannesburg, we have a motion brought in by the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) when it took over and which we all supported that we cannot use the Red Ants for evictions, firstly. Secondly, I have made it clear with invaders platforms and all the officials that all the evictions must be brought to my attention. Evictions have got political implications,” defends Mashaba.
To obtain the court order that was in much debate since the incident, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute says there is another important factor that the court should take into consideration before granting the order.
Research and advocacy officer at SERI, Edward Molopi says, “If it becomes clear in the process that the eviction might lead to homelessness, then the city needs to be brought in the proceedings to state to the court what kind of accommodation they have available and where they would house those people. So, what seems to have happened in Alex is that somewhere in that whole process, the circumstances of those people were not brought to the court.”
Meanwhile, the disaster management is continuing to provide relief.
“There is intervention that have been mobilised and which are currently operational at the moment. Such ensuring that the effected households of which there are 163, have relief assistance provided in the form of temporary emergency shelter provision of some food packs and also on-going support we also have special services that is also on board,” says Divisional Chief Disaster Management, Tshepo Motlhale.
The City of Johannesburg Mayor says he will be investigating the matter.
Relative calm in Marlboro
Meanwhile police in Gauteng say there has not been reports of violence in Marlboro, north of Johannesburg, in the past 24 hours.
Gauteng Human Settlements MEC, Lebogang Maile and Human Rights Commission’s Buang Jones have since visited the area.
Police Spokesperson Kay Makhubele says they will continue to keep a close watch.
“The situation is calm but police are still deployed in the area to monitor the situation. But we have not heard any incidents since yesterday. So far we will continue to be in that vicinity.”