Editor's Note

By Drum Digital
14 February 2014

Khosi's take on the current political landscape.

While it is tempting to point fingers at the mythical “third force” or EFF for instigating or enabling various violent protests that have flared up in recent months, ANC councillors, mayors and premiers need look no further than their own doorstep. It is the ANC’s failure to deliver on its promises that is to blame for the recent violent protests. People are unhappy, and the level of unhappiness has reached boilingpoint.

Police report that in the last three months there have been 569 protest marches. Of these, 122 turned violent. At the heart of this is the demand for basic services, housing, water and sanitation.

We must not ignore the root causes of these uproars: People are fed up. They’re fed up of being fed promises, ignored for four years and only acknowledged and pacified with food parcels as soon as the voting date looms.

The case of Sebokeng is a perfect example of how unequal our country has become, and how one section of the population is now pitted against another.

The more glaring this gap, the more disgruntled people are going to be. Boiketlong or “Serope sa benya”, as locals call it, is a sprawling shack settlement going back 20 years. For as long I can remember, residents there have been pleading for basic delivery.

This year, as yet another election looms, they decided enough is enough and took to the streets. Some self-elected members of the more affluent, better-serviced residential area across the tracks took offenceand a deadly squabble arose.

By the time the police got to the scene, 26-year-old Lerata Tladi was deadand another man injured. What we’re seeing here are the first signs of the social uprising experts have been warning us about. The poor have had enough of promises and of watching their neighbours’ lives improve while their lives deteriorate.

See our story on page 18.

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