Five protests a day in SA - ISS

Cape Town - There are at least five protests a day in South Africa, the Institute for Security Studies says.

On Friday, just a day after the situation in Bronkhorstspruit had been quelled, a protest has flared up in Hebron outside Pretoria, Eyewitness News reported.

Traffic has been diverted away from the area, a witness says, as protesters stone cars and leave burning tyres on the road.

Protests also took place in East London, whose city hall was petrol-bombed, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in the Western Cape and Sebokeng in Gauteng.

There were also protests recently in the Limpopo villages of Relela and Kubjana.

Nine people killed

In January, four people died in Mothutlung, near Brits, during protests against a water shortage.

The recent surge in protests around the country has claimed a total of nine lives, all allegedly at police hands.

The ISS’s Gareth Newham told the Cape Times that an increase in protests this year was expected before the elections. The same occurred during the last provincial and national elections in 2009.
 
Jane Duncan, a professor in journalism and media studies at Rhodes University researching the role municipalities play in protests, blamed municipalities for making it increasingly difficult for residents to protest lawfully.

Duncan said many municipalities asked residents to first take their grievances to their ward councillors and mayors before granting permission for them to protest.

Not about delivery - ANC

However, often the communities’ complaints were directed at the ward councillors.

The ANC’s Gauteng secretary David Makhura said uprisings in the province were not about service delivery but over development.

"There is always some development in the area [where there are protests] and that development is always a source of conflict in the community about who must benefit," he said.

The brother of a man killed in the Sebokeng protest blamed the ANC for his brother’s death, saying he was killed by a group of people wearing ANC T-shirts.
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