Service delivery protests ‘will increase after elections’

2011-02-15 17:22

Local government data agency Municipal IQ expects service delivery protests to increase several months after this year’s local government elections.

The agency warned that protests will start when electioneering promises are perceived to not have been met.

Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese said 2009 and last year accounted for two thirds of protests staged between 2004 and 2010.

In 2010, most protests took place in Gauteng (40%), followed by the Western Cape (15%) and North West (10%).

Mpumalanga, where protests broke out this week, had 7%.

However, reports suggested that the violent protests in Ermelo were not about service provision but the ANC’s selection of its candidates for the upcoming local government elections.

Municipal IQ said Gauteng saw many protests because it had three metros (Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni).

Metros, which account for almost half of service delivery protests, are prone to protests especially in informal settlements, according to Municipal IQ.

Last month, data published by the SA Institute of Race Relations challenged the view that service delivery had failed.

It showed that ­between 1996 and 2009 the number of households ­living in brick houses ­increased from 5.7 million to 10.4 million, the number of households ­using electricity increased by 120% and at least 130% more households were using electricity to cook in 2009 than in 1996.

Households with access to piped water rose by 71%, according to the data.

» Local government elections are expected to take place before the end of May.

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