President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to channel some of the R290-billion worth of investments to fund small businesses and create jobs in the township of Alexandra.
Ramaphosa was speaking during an ANC rally this afternoon in Alexandra following a week of violent protests in which police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse protesting crowds.
Protesters blockaded roads in the area with burning tyres, rocks and tree branches.
They were demanding better service delivery including jobs and social amenities in the area.
Ramaphosa said he would raise the issue of job creation and small business funding with the minister of small business and development Lindiwe Zulu, who was also present the ANC rally.
“Last year we called on foreign investors to come and invest in South Africa. We have secured R290-billion worth of investments and I would like to see most of the investment coming to Alexandra to spur the township economy and create jobs through funding of small businesses,” said Ramaphosa.
“Yesterday we were in Pretoria to witness the investment of at least R3-billion in the economy by Nissan with a view to create at least 1,200 jobs. We want the youth work. The government is going to lend a hand on our people so they can be successful. We are going to focus on the township economy and support small businesses. I came with the minister of small business development to look into this issue.”
Ramaphosa also promised residents that his government will fight crime, remove illegal structures and build 1-million houses in Alexandra.
He thanked the #totalshutdown committee for organizing the community of Alexandra.
“We would like to thank the #Totalshutdown committee in Alexandra to raise the important issues that affect our people here. We want government to meet the committee immediately. They must immediately work on the issues. I am giving a directive to the provincial government to call the mayor and address these issues next week,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa also launched a scathing attack on City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba for failing to address the problems of the residents of Alexandra.
“Local government must fix your problems. Your mayor says he cannot come here now. I thought the mayor must come first before I could come here and listen to your problems. A mayor must not be scared of his people. He is accusing the ANC of causing the protests for political reasons. But even if the ANC caused this he must come. He must come and speak to you. He is responsible for running the municipality,” said Ramaphosa.
“We want the mayor to come to Alexandra and fix your problems.”
Ramaphosa arrived shortly after 2pm to loud cheers and popular struggle songs and was flanked by Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Local Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize, Human Settlements Minister Nomaindia Mfeketo and Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu.