South Africa 18.2.2014 07:00 am

‘Successes’ cause violent protests, says ANC Gauteng

FILE PICTURE: Tyres burn. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

FILE PICTURE: Tyres burn. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Violent service delivery protests occur more often where there is a government development project under way, rather than where there is completely no delivery of services.

This is according to ANC Gauteng provincial secretary David Makhura.

In an interview with Kaya FM yesterday, Makhura said it was important to understand that protests are always related to one type of issue along the delivery chain.

Parts of the country have been engulfed by violent protests – and in some cases lives were lost.

“For instance you will find that government has built houses in an area. When the allocation takes place, people complain of people who are not the right beneficiaries being allocated those houses,” Makhura said.

He stressed that police officers must work proactively with community leaders to prevent violent protests. “This violence de-legitimises issues of concern which communities raise that government has to respond to.

“One of the major weaknesses we have identified is that you can’t just send in the police. This overstretches the police when there are protests – hence the need for a more comprehensive response that seeks to educate communities that the destruction of community property such as clinics, libraries and community halls takes us back,” said Makhura.

According to Makhura, they have found the violence usually occurs in the early hours of the morning. “It is usually young people who are drawn into these protests and some are unemployed. while others come drunk,” he said.

Makhura said the generalisation in the media that these are service delivery protests that are about government failures, is very unhelpful.

“Area by area, from Bronkhortspruit, to Hammanskraal, Sebokeng and Bekkersdal, there has been development projects that have been underway brought by government in response to people’s basic needs.

“That is why we say that these protests are more a reflection of the government’s successes in delivery, rather than a complete failure.

 

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