Stop the violence and let’s create jobs in rural towns

2018-07-23 15:10
Source: Supplied

Source: Supplied

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Service delivery protests have become a norm in our communities. Some are conducted peacefully. Many are violent. Destruction of property, theft and general lawlessness have marred some of the recent protests. 

 

Although service delivery protests happen almost weekly and have become predictable, especially in towns where corruption is so rampant that communities are seemingly left with no option but to protest, elected leaders are unable to quell them. Some of the leaders run for safety themselves. And some demand state-sponsored insurance to safeguard their properties.

 

It is frustrating that not even the democratic process that allows residents to vote out the corrupt officials is assisting in bringing about stability. If a democracy can’t resolve tensions in communities, it’s difficult to say what will. Most community concerns are valid. But the tactics are not. The damage to public infrastructure adds to the service delivery woes. It’s certainly not the solution.

 

The looting of shops belonging to both South African business people and foreigners is another cause for concern. It is another example of residents shooting themselves in the foot, because such conduct could discourage retailers from investing in rural towns affected by such service delivery protests. The result could be job losses and the loss of much needed rates revenues for local municipalities. Communities must review the way they fight for their demands. Or they risk being seen as being as bad as the corrupt people they protest against.

 

Daan Bronkhorst of Hinterland, a retail chain that invests in rural towns, shares his thoughts about conducting business in a challenging environment.


 

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