No quick fix for protests - study

2014-02-12 16:35
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Zuma Exposed
    This book exposes Jacob Zuma, in such a way that he would not want you or anyone else to read it. Now R189.00
    buy now
Johannesburg - Curtailing protests in South Africa require long-term economic and institutional changes, University of Johannesburg researchers said on Wednesday.

"There cannot be short-term fixes, there needs to be real and substantial change," said Carin Runciman, who specialises in the politics of protests and social movements.

South African research chair in social change and sociology professor Peter Alexander said the focus on the service delivery dimension of protests was often misplaced.

"Protests are not just about service delivery. Community protests are more of a rebellion of the poor."

The poor were marginalised, and frequently stigmatised, and had limited means to make their grievances meaningfully heard.

The research was based on over 250 interviews and drew data from four media sources, covering more than 2000 protests since 2004. The research divided protests into three categories - peaceful, disruptive, and violent.

Runciman said there had been a general rise in protest action since 2004, with peaks in 2009 and 2013. There were also generally more protests during winter.

"There is no clear relationship between protests and elections."

"Repression won’t work"

Just after the 2009 general elections, however, an increase was noted. One of the possible explanations for this was that people believed President Jacob Zuma would make substantial changes to people's everyday lives once in office, but when this did not immediately happen people resorted to protesting.

People were not only concerned about the levels of service delivery they received, but also about the quality of democracy they experienced.

Doctoral student Trevor Ngwane said people often resorted to protesting, frequently targeting ward councillors or mayors. This was because once these officials were voted in there was no means of removing them if they failed to deliver.

Alexander said the fact that councillors often earned substantially more than their constituents led to a social gap, which often led to discontent.

The research indicated that most communities began by expressing their discontent peacefully, but this was frequently met with minimal response. The protest would then become disruptive - including blocking roads and burning tyres - before becoming violent, where property was damaged and people injured or killed. The presence of police also sometimes exacerbated the violence of protests.

Alexander said of controlling protests: "Repression won't work. It will intensify bitterness."

The growing number of protests in South Africa were also part of an international trend.

"It's been a ticking time-bomb in South Africa. Protests will continue unless authorities listen and act positively, not bureaucratically."

- SAPA

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
48 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.