This newspaper reported yesterday that protests in Vuwani, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, had resulted in a total shutdown of services, including schools.
Many other residents have, as a result of this protest, been denied their right to earn a living as they have been barred from going to work. The protesters insist the shutdown of services will only be called off once their demands are met.
The protesters are fully aware that resorting to anarchy is the only strategy through which they can achieve their goals. Not long ago, the residents in Malamulele embarked on violent protests during which public property, including schools, were torched, demanding their own municipality.
After months of anarchy, government relented. The unintended consequence is that a message is being sent out to disgruntled citizens: for them to achieve their goals, they have to resort to violence.
The time has come for the authorities to reconsider how they engage with communities.