Mohamed Ameen Dabhelia - 2018/11/27
The deterioration of ward 58 in Johannesburg's 'heritage filled' Mayfair depicts a nightmare for many.
The multi-ethnic suburb has a fascinating and turbulent history, being most famous for its bargain shopping, colourful jewellery and fabric stores, but sadly, things have made a turn for the worst…
In recent years, public spaces have been subject to neglect - turning in to hot spots where transactions for prostitution, drugs and dodgy deals take place.
Daily Maverick Journalist Ferial Haffajee who penned an opinion piece called “Condom Park, and how the DA has failed in Mayfair”, told Radio Islam that the ward is failing on almost every metric of good local governance.
“The one I get that hurts people the most is that it’s incredibly dirty, there are piles of rubbish everywhere just dumped, and for me that impacts on the dignity of our fellow residents.”
Haffajee is both a resident of Ward 58 in Mayfair as well as Ward 117 in Parkhurst; she describes the difference between the two in her op piece “like heaven and hell”.
“The DA is used to governing in traditionally homogenous society, middle class white areas is where they are excellent, where they are organised.”
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba responded - claiming that the issues of Ward 58 are out of the city’s control, Haffajee disagrees.
“On the committee I work with lawyers and urban development specialists, and actually many of the issues are firmly in the purview of the city council.”
Mashaba also argued, "There are a growing number of vagrants moving into the area, attracted or encouraged by an ample provision of food by the Muslim community."
Haffajee says she dismissed this statement as "rubbish" and that it was a poor excuse made by the Mayor.
“Also, I don’t like the language of vagrants, you have to accept that the homeless community is part of the community, what are you going to be doing for and how are you going to create spaces for them, so another trend in Mayfair.”
Moving forward, Haffajee adds that reliable channels need to be constructed to hold city council accountable in order to ensure that the promises which have been made are kept.
Listen To The Full Interview Below: