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‘Service delivery protests on track for new peak level in 2016’

11 May 2016 - 12:05 By TMG Digital

2016‚ the year of South Africa’s local government polls‚ is set to be a record for protest action. That’s according to Municipal IQ‚ which describes itself as “a specialised local government data and intelligence organisation collects data on service delivery protests”.It said that the data it had collected “shows that if sustained at the same rate as the past four months‚ major service delivery protests in 2016 will reach a new peak level”.This year has– up to April 30 –seen 70 protests compared to a total of 164 for 2015‚ and 191 for 2014.“It is worrying to see service delivery protests increase before elections‚” said Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese.“In previous election years we actually registered protests dropping off with electioneering appearing to promote better community engagement.Major service delivery protests, by year (2004 –30 April 2016) “Such engagement‚ bolstered mechanisms for dispute resolution and proactive service delivery responses could still reverse the upward trajectory of protests seen so far.”Gauteng and the Eastern Cape – 26% and 24% respectively - account for half of the protests; while the Free State accounted for just 1% of the recorded protests.“Many of these protests have taken place in informal settlements and underdeveloped areas where service delivery remains a major challenge‚” said Municipal IQ MD Kevin Allan.SUPPLIEDService delivery protests by province 1 January and 30 April 2016The company stressed that the protests used in its study “are primarily against councillor candidates (a political issue)” while “demarcation (a national decision‚ like that of Vuwani) and industrial relations are not included on the Municipal Hotspots Monitor”. ..

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