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<p><strong>By Jonk WA Mashamba</strong><br />
jonkm@greateralextoday.co.za</p>

<p>WHILE the country at large is currently battling to contain the rapidly increasing Covid-19, landlessness for the Alexandrans has continuously become an endless war. This picture of an accident waiting to happen was taken in an area in extension 8 in Alexandra. In this area, people, especially foreign nationals, seem to be not choosey when it comes to where they should bury their heads, as long they are not paying rent. The infamous Alex shut down movement, which brought the township to a standstill, sought to address illegal structures, amongst others. The movement saw the young and the old being united against the lawlessness, which recurred till now, but what the movement was fighting for, has become history!</p>

<p>GAT was in the mission to establish, why a normal person would want to dwell in a dilapidated shack built in a hazardous area, like the picture depicted, but the answers we got were: “I want my kids to visit me in the home I’m not renting. I’m very tired of the conditions, be told what I shouldn’t do at rented places, because landlords have conditions,” said a man who says he came to South Africa in 2004 from Zimbabwe. Another man, also from Zimbabwe asserted: “It is better to have to deal with water when it rains than to deal with a heartless landlord. Look now, during this lockdown, I can assure you that many people wouldn’t afford to pay rent, because some are not generating any income. And that is justifiable, but what about us who are surviving on piece jobs, it means I will continue to be a hobo if I don’t do something positive now to get my own place.” The issue of the lack of land in Alex is not a new topic. The leaders of good standing in the community have tried in vain to emphasize their legitimate arguments on the importance of land in Alex. One of them is Linda Twala who is affectionately known as the father of Alex, said during an interview with ENCA recently, “If you want to keep Alex clean you need more land.</p>

<p>”We need to demolish Alex block by block and build fl ats.” Our persistent curiosity on why people build on the river bank was met with another contrasting answer: “The only way I can be relocated to an RDP or decent place, is through this. Is not like that I’m not aware of the dangers associated with building along the river banks. I know! But to be frank with you, I can assure you that if my shack is swept away by rain, I’m 100 percent that the government will take me away from this dilapidated area to a home I will forever own,” said a man from Malawi.</p>
Living risky in Alex has benefits

By Jonk WA Mashamba
jonkm@greateralextoday.co.za

WHILE the country at large is currently battling to contain the rapidly increasing Covid-19, landlessness for the Alexandrans has continuously become an endless war. This picture of an accident waiting to happen was taken in an area in extension 8 in Alexandra. In this area, people, especially foreign nationals, seem to be not choosey when it comes to where they should bury their heads, as long they are not paying rent. The infamous Alex shut down movement, which brought the township to a standstill, sought to address illegal structures, amongst others. The movement saw the young and the old being united against the lawlessness, which recurred till now, but what the movement was fighting for, has become history!

GAT was in the mission to establish, why a normal person would want to dwell in a dilapidated shack built in a hazardous area, like the picture depicted, but the answers we got were: “I want my kids to visit me in the home I’m not renting. I’m very tired of the conditions, be told what I shouldn’t do at rented places, because landlords have conditions,” said a man who says he came to South Africa in 2004 from Zimbabwe. Another man, also from Zimbabwe asserted: “It is better to have to deal with water when it rains than to deal with a heartless landlord. Look now, during this lockdown, I can assure you that many people wouldn’t afford to pay rent, because some are not generating any income. And that is justifiable, but what about us who are surviving on piece jobs, it means I will continue to be a hobo if I don’t do something positive now to get my own place.” The issue of the lack of land in Alex is not a new topic. The leaders of good standing in the community have tried in vain to emphasize their legitimate arguments on the importance of land in Alex. One of them is Linda Twala who is affectionately known as the father of Alex, said during an interview with ENCA recently, “If you want to keep Alex clean you need more land.

”We need to demolish Alex block by block and build fl ats.” Our persistent curiosity on why people build on the river bank was met with another contrasting answer: “The only way I can be relocated to an RDP or decent place, is through this. Is not like that I’m not aware of the dangers associated with building along the river banks. I know! But to be frank with you, I can assure you that if my shack is swept away by rain, I’m 100 percent that the government will take me away from this dilapidated area to a home I will forever own,” said a man from Malawi.

COJ
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