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NGO offers JHB communities peaceful alternative to service delivery protests

The Applied Policy Research Institute has written 2 bylaws to empower citizens to petition municipalities.

Yeoville has a rich history, but is riddled with crime and service delivery problems. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - In an unprecedented move, a Johannesburg NGO has drafted two bylaws it hopes the City Council will debate and pass, offering communities a peaceful alternative to demanding service delivery.

Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute has written the bylaws to deal with a lack of libraries and to empower citizens to petition their municipalities more effectively.

It's now gathering signatures in order to lobby council to consider adopting the bylaws.

The organisation's executive director Muhammad Cajee says the initiative is unprecedented in South Africa.

"Nowhere in South Africa has a non-profit organisation actually written legislation and started meeting with councillors to ask them to support the legislation."

He says communities can do more than protest and can play a critical role in drafting laws that can improve their lives.

"Any community able to get legislation to pass that is beneficial to their communities. Then by law the executive of that municipality would have to act on it."

Cajee says they plan to submit the bylaws next week.