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Hubert Khobane
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Bigger protests are still to follow!

06 June 2014, 08:43

Bigger protests are still to follow!

The Government is indeed in big trouble, as the awakening of country protests are now even a bigger political organization than the ruling ANC.

Violent protest such as the most recent ones in Mothutlung and Damonsville at Brits, Bronkhorstspruit, Roodepoort, Ralala and Kubjaja near Tzaneen being evidence of the most recent violent protests.

Statistics vouch for the fact that the SAPS during the past 3 years killed 30 protestors, but in the recent month already 8 has died. This represents about four protest actions every day and this is an uprising, if ever it has been!

A lot of people are feeling that their standard of live has not improved significantly and that they have had enough of promises without any action.

In the previous national election, more people did not vote than those that voted for the ANC, which in essence means that the protests actions are in actual fact a bigger political movement than the ANC.

At the moment the protests are spontaneous and wide spread, but future protests will be more organised and coordinated and will be relevant of a bigger anti government action.

The recent protests are an indication of violent protests that resembles the general unsatisfactory state of service delivery and the breakdown of relations between communities and government.

Recent protests did not necessarily centre on the lack of service delivery.

Before people protested because they didn’t have water or electricity in their houses, but at the most recent protests, which were more violent, the crux was about the general unsatisfactory service delivery and the breakdown of relations between communities and government.

There is definitely a growing resentment against government and the breakdown of relations between communities and e.g. municipalities, ministers and the police, that causes protestors to turn to violence more easily.

The growing resistance is a consequence of the fact that the local government has been taking too long to attend to the problems.

Communities have been complaining for years about problems with water, sanitation, electricity and housing, but no attention is given to their complaints.

People are now realizing that if they block off roads, burn tyres and throw stones, then it is reported in the media and then people listen to them. A lack of discipline amongst them and efficient training in crowd control by the SAPS only worsens the situations.

At the moment there are only 4 000 members countrywide in the police’s unit that can do crowd control and have been trained to do it and this is far too few. There is also a shortage of non-deadly equipment, (such as water cannons) that forces the members of the police to use sharp ammunition and then people die unnecessary.

The big problem stems from the fact that politicians make promises that are not attainable, and create expectations amongst the people, that are not practically possible.

According to information available there has been:

v  410 protest actions about service delivery in South Africa of which the most (173) were in 2012. In 2011 there were also 82 violent strike protests and 155 in 2013;

v  The Municipalities that have been worst hit are Mbombela, Madibeng and Mahikeng;

v  The Metros’ with the most strikes in the past three years were Johannesburg, Cape Town and the Nelson Mandla Bay Municipality;

v  Poor lack of the supply of housing, as well as the lack of service delivery, e.g. supplies of water and electricity, was the biggest reason for protest actions the past three years.

When those that do not vote become more than those that voted for the ANC and or ruling government, we have a serious resistance against the government on our hands, and this should be a wakeup call for the government not to create circumstances in which protests and many of them violent in nature become the order of the day and lives are lost unnecessary!

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