Tag Archives: service delivery protests

Balance of power contests are driving violent community protests

As a society we must all resist and reject the temptation to accept that the violent protests and political killings that seem to occur all the time during the local election years is the new normal. It should not be! The time has come to take responsibility, show leadership and engage through all our stakeholder…

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Democratic agitation needs a different protest language

The report by Municipal IQ (May 11, 2016) on the trends in service-delivery protests in the country is indeed very disturbing. A worrying component of these protests is the increasing level of violence that is associated with these protests. What is even more worrying is the fact that the violence is mostly perpetrated by the…

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How long can the ANC keep winning elections?

The discussion documents that have recently been released by the ANC in preparation for its national general council in October reveal renewed intention to have a serious discussion and reflection on a number of key issues, which if unresolved, can accelerate the demise of the organisation. In reality the fundamental question is about what is…

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Service delivery: Could improvements have been greater, more equitable?

By Aalia Cassim The popular narrative in the run-up to the elections sprawled across South African televisions, billboards and suburban walls is largely premised on service-delivery successes in post-apartheid South Africa. It is true that the asset and service deficit characteristic under the apartheid government has markedly improved. But almost daily reports of misused municipal…

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A ‘good story’ to tell – for some

I must admit, the ANC’s election moniker (you know, that it has a “good story” to tell) makes me very angry – probably much more than it should. In the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death, and the feeling that we’ll never again experience such collective unity or progress as a nation, the ANC’s election spin…

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India, SA risk forsaking their proud histories on human rights

India and South Africa are increasingly tarnishing their reputations as democratic and rights-respecting nations, most recently by unsuccessfully seeking to undermine a resolution on the right to peaceful protest at the UN Human Rights Council. Wrangling at the world’s premier human-rights body this March has marked another low in international relations for India and South…

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Middle-class narratives and the disconnect with the poor

In January this year, numerous protestors were killed by the police in service-delivery protests, four of them simply for rising up to demand a most basic right — water. This is a contravention of human rights on many levels and while it sent shock waves through poor black working-class and marginalised communities, the broader middle…

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What is the end state of the State?

No other entity mediates social relations as much as the State. The State is ubiquitous because of its unique nature, size and reach. As a social institution the State is contested by all social interests who use their power and position to influence it and consequently impact social relations. Interest groups compete to shape the…

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How violence, protests shut the door on learning

I’ve been following the violent protests in township communities with half an ear. It’s been interesting watching what the media chooses to focus on when reporting these stories and shaping the discourse about whose stories matter. When I’ve seen the images of those out in the streets protesting I’ve been uncomfortable at how young the…

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The DA’s Luthuli House march and our green-man-flashing democracy

Who in 1994 would have thought that in 2014 the ruling party would call upon an opposition party to abort its planned march on the ruling party’s headquarters, raising the spectre of violence if the march proceeded? But then, who would have thought that we would have an average of more than 30 protests a…

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