News24

Violent protests 'unacceptable'

2010-03-25 13:13

Cape Town - Cabinet on Thursday condemned violent service delivery protests and called on communities to behave responsibly.

Briefing the media following Cabinet's regular Wednesday meeting, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the meeting had discussed the violent protests in some parts of the country.

Government acknowledged that citizens had a democratic right to express their grievances, but this right was accompanied by the responsibility to ensure that the rights of others were not infringed upon, he said.

"No-one has the right to attack others, to destroy public and private property, or to embark on any criminal activity in the name of service delivery protests.

Responsible, constructive

"Communities must express their discontent in a responsible and constructive manner.

"The violent and destructive nature of some of the protests is unacceptable," Maseko said.

Government accepted that the protests were a symptom of accumulated discontent about a range of issues pertaining to the delivery of basic services.

Many of these issues raised during these protests were already receiving attention at the highest level in government.

"We remain committed to addressing issues of service delivery through the implementation of the local government turnaround strategy, whose primary objective is to ensure that local government is strengthened to urgently attend to the service delivery concerns of all communities," Maseko said.