Fewer service delivery protests in 2019 than previous year, says data collecting organisation

2020-02-01 08:56
 (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24, file)

(Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24, file) (Felix Dlangamandla)

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There were fewer recorded service delivery protests in 2019 than the year before.

This according to the latest data from Municipal IQ, a specialised local government data and intelligence organisation which collects data on service delivery protests staged against municipalities.

The organisation said in a statement that although 2019 recorded a significant number of service delivery protests, especially in the first few months of the year, these tailed off after May's general elections, bringing the annual tally behind that of 2018.

In 2019, there were 218 recorded service delivery protests, compared to 237 in 2018.

Despite adverse economic indicators, service delivery protests receded significantly between October and December 2019.

Municipal IQ's managing director, Kevin Allan, said: "While the relative lull in service delivery protests does not mean that all is well in local government, communities appear not to be taking their unhappiness to the streets as frequently as they did around general elections."

Gauteng, with 24% of the recorded protests, remained the most prominent site of service delivery protests, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (21%) and the Western Cape (19%).

The Eastern Cape (14%) fell slightly in prominence, with the North West (6%), Northern Cape (1%) and Mpumalanga (3%) also receding. The Free State (6%) remained relatively static in its contribution to protest levels, while Limpopo (6%) was slightly more conspicuous than usual.

Karen Heese, an economist at Municipal IQ, said: "It may be possible for 2018 to keep the record for the number of service delivery protests."

She added there appeared to be an opportunity to channel community engagement through democratic processes - like ward committees, petition processes and community meetings - to avert protests.

"With a challenging year likely to be ahead for local governments, councillors and administrations must work collectively to ensure service delivery and consolidate this apparent goodwill," Heese said.

- Compiled by Jan Gerber

Read more on:    service delivery protests
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