120529. Cape Town. Residents from Zweletemba informal settlement near Worcester protest infront of the Worcester Civic centre demanding better basic living conditions. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus.

North West municipalities must engage with communities to prevent service delivery protests, local government and traditional affairs MEC China Dodovu said on Friday.

“Municipalities must increase their public participation engagements with communities in order to address their service delivery needs,” Dodovu told reporters in Mahikeng (formerly Mafikeng), according to a statement issued by his office.

Dodovu would meet with communities and ward councillors around the province from June 12 to strengthen communication between the parties and to prevent further protests.

The protests were often sparked by a lack of engagement between councillors and residents, Dodovu said.

Recent service delivery protests cast doubt on whether communities had actually been consulted before the Integrated Development Plans (IDP) were adopted, as consultation was mandatory.

“A task team has been formed to visit different municipalities hit by protests in an effort to resolve concerns raised,” he said.

The MEC appealed to communities to be wary of being used by people instigating protests for their own purposes. - Sapa