President must declare an SIU probe into Alex Renewal Project – Herman Mashaba

Joburg Mayor says Cyril Ramaphosa's visit was another electioneering exercise

President Ramaphosa’s must declare an SIU into Alexandra Renewal Project

11 April 2019

I have noted today’s visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Alexandra – sadly, this visit was another electioneering exercise rather than an intergovernmental engagement with the community.

Earlier this week, I had written to the President requesting that today’s meeting be one where national, provincial and local government could account to the people of Alexandra and work towards creating solutions for their grievances.

This request fell on deaf ears.

The challenges faced by residents in Alex are substantial and the people of Alexandra deserve answers as to what became of the development which was promised by the ANC through the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP).

Indeed, the City’s Group Forensic Investigation Services has received information that the ARP, which was launched in 2001, served as a slush fund for the ANC, the City of Johannesburg under previous governments and the Provincial Government.

ANC members were employed to drive the ARP in Alexandra. From the information we have received, their task was to direct funding to ANC-aligned companies that under-delivered on housing and channeled money back to the ANC.

There can be no question that the R16 billion set aside by the National and Provincial Government for the ARP has been looted.

The time for accountability is now. The City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensic Investigation has already begun an investigation into this matter.

However, it if the President is truly committed to not only ending corruption but also ensuring that the resident’s get answers as to where the money for the ARP went, he must urgently a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) into the matter.

This must go beyond the Auditor General investigation which has been called for by the Premier David Makhura.

What has allegedly occurred here is a crime against the residents of Alexandra and the state, it can only be addressed through a criminal investigation.

The time has come for the President to truly put his words to action and ensure that corruption – indeed from his own ranks – is dealt with using the full might of the law.

This is will be the true test of the President’s resolve to fighting corruption and assisting the people of Alexandra.

The multi-party government will continue to work towards working with the residents of Alex to bring much-needed development to the community.

To date, we have invested in:

Electrification of 686 stands in informal settlements in Alexandra;

The extension of operating hours in the library serving Alexandra;

The opening of 2 new clinics in Alexandra (Rover Park and Thoko Nongoma) with a third to be opened in the coming weeks (4th Avenue);

The extending of clinic operating hours at the River Park Clinic;

The provision of substance abuse treatment facilities at the River Park Clinic;

R60 million over 3 years to complete the new Banakekelen Hospice and Clinic in Alexandra;

R20 million in 2018/19 which will begin the construction of the Alexandra Sports and Youth Development Safe Hub;

R80 million being spent in the 2018/19 financial year by Joburg Water on replacing water and sewer pipes in Alexandra;

The construction of the Joe Nhlanhla pedestrian bridge in the 2018/19 financial year;

The completion of the Alexandra Automotive Hub in 2018/19 as a job creation initiative in Alexandra;

The Alexandra Opportunity Centre will open in 2018/19 providing support to SMMEs in Alexandra;

The completion of the Jukskei Water Management Plan to protect people and property close to the Jukskei River in times of flooding;

The installation of 100 new public lights in Alexandra; and

R20 million to be spent in 2018/19 on the improvement of the Helen Joseph Hostel in Alexandra.

Despite the refusal of National and Provincial Government to work with the City of Johannesburg in the interests of the residents of Alexandra, we remain committed to hearing their concerns at our IDP session on Monday 15 April 2019 and collectively working together to address the needs of Alex. 

Issued by Luyanda Mfeka, Director: Mayoral Communications, 11 April 2019