The residents of Alexandra, the impoverished township adjacent to the country’s richest square mile, are the forgotten poor people whom politicians love to talk about in the run-up to an election. It has been a week since protests flared in the area over service delivery issues and crime, but the community has been dealing with 25 years of poor services in democratic SA. Community members on Monday marched to Sandton, which has become the true business district of Johannesburg, home to the rich and powerful. Alexandra offers a stark contrast — its constantly simmering xenophobia periodically erupts into violence, and almost every year flash floods sweep away some of the residents who build their homes on the banks of the Jukskei River. The township was established in 1912, the same year as the ANC. But none of the politicians who have controlled the Johannesburg metro since 1994 has shown its residents any respect. The ANC was in charge of the city, including Alexandra, from the fir...

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