Protests sparked by 'political and social factors'

An analyst says service delivery protests are often sparked by a mixture of political and social factors.

A pile of rubbish burns in Sir Lowry's Pass Village after residents staged a second day of housing protests on 10 May 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A political analyst believes service delivery protests are often sparked by a mixture of political and social factors.

Harold Pakendorf says these elements go hand in hand, irrespective of which political party is governing.

In the latest protest to hit the Cape, more than 200 Phillipi residents demonstrated against their limited access to electricity on Monday.

Meanwhile, Mafikeng was also hit by service delivery protests over the weekend.

Residents blockaded roads and accused their leaders of ignoring their grievances.

They were demonstrating against blackouts in the area.

Pakendorf says there is no one province that stands out for service delivery protests.

"There are service delivery protests across the country. It's difficult to pin down a particular reason except that in many cases people have reason to protest. They are unhappy with empty promises and poor service delivery."

In May, Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi said in some cases public service delivery protests were politically motivated. However, he also acknowledged that in other cases people were genuinely fed up with poor service delivery.

Most of the protests have been violent and in some cases police have been accused of using force while dealing with protesters.