Faizel Patel – 04/11/2020
Newly elected Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen says the party wants to address the real issues plaguing Lenasia and bring change to the suburb.
Steenhuisen together with Helen Zille, chairperson of the Federal Council were campaigning in Lenasia, going door to door to canvass votes for the party ahead the ward nine bi-elections on 11 November.
Lenasia has been plagued by high crime rate, services delivery issues including the mushrooming of illegal informal settlements, which on occasion engage in service delivery protests if there is an electricity outage, some of which are illegal connections or if their demands for services are not addressed.
A number of councillors from different political parties have served Lenasia in the past with elaborate promises of change and improvement to the suburb.
While some deliverables were met by some of the councillors, other have failed dismally.
Steenhuisen who was elected as the party’s new leader over the weekend says the aim of the party is to retain a significant number of votes in the Johannesburg council and bring the African National Congress (ANC) under fifty percent to form a government and bring change to the people.
He says the Lenasia community has been left behind.
“It’s been left behind in terms of dealing with crime and criminality, service delivery failures. The basics of local government have failed here and there’s been no respect for the rule of law. There is land invasion and the city’s turned a blind eye to it. We need to make sure that we return to the rule of law and we focus on service delivery here in the ward. I believe our candidate is going to take on that fight every single day for the people of Lenasia.”
While Lenasia has been described as a predominantly Muslim community, Steenhuisen says their candidate Abdul Razak Noorbhai will address the issues of all residents that reside in the suburb.
“This is a man who opened a desk in the city of Joburg specifically for the Muslim community to assist with zoning problems for mosques and for various other Muslims community organisations and he has a track record for standing up to that community. This is somebody who has a heart for the Muslim community, he’s a man of deep faith and I think he’s going to be an excellent representative for the Muslim community here, not only the Muslim community but for all residents of this ward.”
While Lenasia battles many issues and with the DA committing to bringing change to the suburb, the illegal land grab issue remains at the forefront.
In August, Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo told Radio Islam, the former mayor of the city of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba allowed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to illegally occupy land in Lenasia, Lenasia South and surrounds because he needed the party in order to stay in power.
Mashaba was a member of the DA during his tenure as mayor before leaving the party and forming his own party Action SA.
Listen to the interview with John Steenhuisen