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Mayor to return to Orange Farm despite disruptions


Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba plans to return to Orange Farm in Region G soon to address residents after a community meeting on Monday September 26 ended in chaos when a small group of people purporting to be members of the African National Congress (ANC) disrupted it.

“This is a community that has been neglected for far too long and I wanted to speak to them in person and hear first-hand some of the pressing issues they are facing,” Mayor Mashaba said after the disruptions.

“I plan to return to Orange Farm soon to hear their grievances and ensure that they are attended to. I am committed to running a responsive and caring administration in Johannesburg and I wish to assure the residents of Orange Farm that I will not be intimidated.”

Monday’s meeting was planned to discuss land, housing and service delivery issues.

When Mayor Mashaba arrived at the Orange Farm Multipurpose Community Centre, he found the hall had been flooded. Rubbish had also been strewn all over the venue. Many members of the community were already inside the hall waiting to be addressed by Mayor Mashaba but a small group of unruly individuals entered the hall and disrupted the meeting.

“The meeting was well-attended by genuine members of the community ... It is most unfortunate that the actions of a small and unruly group of people, brought in from outside of the community, can upset an engagement with members of the community.

“The community showed up to engage with the new leadership of the City, wanting to be heard on their plight after years of neglect. Instead, they had to witness the desperate actions of an ANC battling to come to terms with its new role in opposition.

“I will not allow this to stop me from doing my job. I am the Mayor for every resident in our City and everyone has a right to be heard,” he said.

The Mayor said two ANC councillors had been fingered as the ringleaders. He said he had written to the Chief Whip, Cllr Kevin Wax, to initiate an investigation. Mayor Mashaba added that he was also planning to lay criminal charges against the perpetrators.