Service delivery protests increasing and most are violent

14 May 2018 - 14:23 By Genevieve Quintal
Police patrol the area during violent protests on April 19, 2018 in Mahikeng. File photo.
Police patrol the area during violent protests on April 19, 2018 in Mahikeng. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

Service delivery protests are increasing with 94% of them recorded this year being violent‚ Municipal IQ said on Monday.

“April was a particularly protest-prone month in North West‚ Northern Cape and Free State municipalities; often affecting roads and basic services‚” Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese said.

“Of great concern is that 94% of the service delivery protests we have recorded this year have been violent – a significant uptick when compared to 76% since 2004.”

According to Municipal IQ’s Hotspots Monitor‚ the Eastern Cape has overtaken Gauteng as this year’s most protest-prone province. North West narrowly followed Gauteng in third place‚ Heese said.

Violent protests have recently flared up in North West regarding the province’s health department.

Late last month‚ Cabinet invoked Section 100(1b) of the Constitution to take over the department of health in the province.

Protesters were reportedly blocking access to hospitals and threatened to burn doctors who tried to access the institutions to treat patients.

Municipal IQ also found that the Free State had also become relatively pronounced‚ as well as the Northern Cape.

The hotspot monitor maintains a database on major protests staged against municipalities‚ as recorded by the media and other public sources such as SA Police Service media releases.

Municipal IQ’s MD‚ Kevin Allan‚ said it was concerning that protesters appeared to be resorting to increasingly violent measures to engage leadership structures.

However‚ there were also opportunistic elements of criminality which appeared to have come into play and confounded the service delivery grievances‚ he said.

- BusinessLIVE