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Service delivery protests pose security threat to elections, says SAPS

Police management briefed parliament’s police committee on Tuesday about their preparedness to ensure the elections are safe and secure.

FILE: Ennerdale residents gather near burning tyres and rocks during a protest on 5 October 2018 over what they say is the neglect of coloured communities. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police management says service delivery protests are one of the security threats to the country’s upcoming elections.

Police management briefed parliament’s police committee on Tuesday about their preparedness to ensure the elections are safe and secure.

They also listed Eskom’s ongoing power cuts as another possible security risk.

While the country was relatively stable, police were on the lookout for any community protests on election day.

Service delivery protests were a common occurrence in South Africa especially near election time and could pose a security risk for voters and Independent Electoral Commission staff.

But the police said while they had everything under control, they were monitoring communities in certain provinces.

“The main threat for the elections is unrest which is caused by different issues ranging from water, housing, as well as other issues that’s what actually causes problems,” said deputy national commissioner of police, lieutenant general Sehlahle Masemola.

Police officials receive regular intelligence updates on various threats, including threats by labour unions, and are looking at contingency measures.

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