Service Delivery protest in Cape Town. Photo: Sam Clark.

Violence over service delivery is “almost a certainty” with more than 51 percent of metropolitan residents unhappy, according to a survey released on Monday.

“This figure of 51 percent is very high and indicates that violence over a lack of service delivery is almost a certainty,” said TNS Research Surveys director Neil Higgs.

“There was no change compared with the figure of 52 percent recorded in February 2010 and means that local government has effectively achieved nothing during 2009 in terms of improving people's perceptions of their service delivery,” he said.

The survey was based on interviews with 2000 metropolitan residents in November last year.

“Strike negotiators say that when 30 percent or more of a work force are unhappy, there will almost certainly be strike or protest action,” Higgs said in a statement.

“With levels of unhappiness over service delivery exceeding half the population in metro areas, the likelihood of such protest action then becoming violent becomes highly probable.”

In a study conducted in 2007, dissatisfaction levels were at 27

percent, with Gauteng at 30 percent.

“That the levels of unhappiness have risen to 51 percent and show no change over the past year shows that the problem of service delivery is now especially acute and that violence should not be a surprise,” said Higgs. - Sapa