Gauteng ANC: Govt must engage protesters

Over 100 service delivery protests have taken place in South Africa over the past three months.

Protesters in Sebokeng burning tyres and blocking main roads. Picture via twitter @r_rikhotso.

JOHANNESBURG - Government must urgently address concerns raised by protesting communities and take strong action against criminal elements, the Gauteng ANC said on Thursday.

The country has been rocked by more than a hundred violent service delivery protests in just the last three months.

Bronkhorstspruit residents have spent the last week torching state property, including a clinic, police station and library.

The Rethabiseng Clinic which was set on fire by angry residents, 5 February 2014. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

In Sebokeng, a protester was shot dead on Wednesday while demonstrating over housing.

ANC Provincial Secretary David Makhura says government must listen to communities and bring an end to the destruction.

"[What we find from] our own intervention and interaction with communities is that every time we go to an area where there's protest, there are genuine concerns. The problem is that there are elements that always resort to violence."

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte says violence is often instigated by politicians.

"Some of it is driven by ANC people themselves. Some of it, as in Hammanskraal, was driven by Sanco [South African National Civic Organisation] and in other areas, it's driven by the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters], quite honestly and frankly speaking."