Update: April 18 2019Due to a technical error, an earlier version of this story made transparent editing changes that should not have been visible to readers. This has been corrected. The convoy of shiny black German vehicles cruised through the rubbish-and sewage-strewn streets of Alexandra township. With blue lights and sirens blazing, they filled the narrow road, relegating other drivers to the verges. They slowly made their way to the stadium where thousands of people were waiting. President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC leader, had come to address residents about solutions to their service delivery issues: inadequate housing, piles of uncollected rubbish, and sewage flowing down the streets and sometimes into their shacks. Days earlier, township residents had embarked on a “total shutdown”, closing all roads in and out of Alexandra with burning tyres and rocks.

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