JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has so far seen 144 protests against lack of service delivery since January this year, the latest data released by the Municipal IQ on Wednesday, showed.
The worst affected province is the Eastern Cape, followed by Gauteng. There was a slight increase of protests in the Western Cape and Free State.
"The footprint of protest activity is increasingly evident across a diverse range of communities - from cities to rural areas, with the range of issues including growing demands for housing and job opportunities in urban areas to basic services and better governance in smaller municipalities," Karen Heese, economist at Municipal IQ said in a statement on Wednesday.
As of June 30, this year, the province with the least protests was Mpumalanga at three percent. At third place after Eastern Cape and Gauteng was Western Cape at 15%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 14%, North West at nine percent, Northern Cape at six percent, and Limpopo at five percent. The protests have become more violent in recent years, said Municipal IQ managing director Kevin Allan.
''Service delivery protests have become a daily feature of South African life with an alarming increase in violent confrontations between protesters and police. As a result, the opportunity for communities to engage constructively on grievances is lost and municipalities need to work to ensure that channels for such communication remain accessible and relevant.”
Municipal IQ is a specialised local government data and intelligence organisation that collects data on service delivery protests staged against municipalities, using its Hotspots Monitor tool.