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Gauteng still the epicentre of service delivery protests - Municipal IQ

In 2017 alone, Gauteng accounted for more than a third of all reported service delivery protests nationwide.

JMPD officers monitor protests in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg on 3 April 2019. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - As residents of Alexandra took to the streets to demand better housing and services on Wednesday, Municipal IQ reports Gauteng is still the nation's biggest hotspot for such community action.

The monitoring group said it's natural to see an uptick in community protests in an election year.

Similar protests in Cape Town suburbs started in Kensington last year.

According to the latest Municipal IQ data, Gauteng is the epicentre of service delivery protests; seeing the highest number of protests between 2004 and 2018.

In 2017 alone, the province accounted for more than a third of all reported service delivery protests nationwide.

WATCH: #AlexTotalShutdown: Residents fed up with illegal structures

The second highest incidence of protests on record happened in 2014 and it’s no coincidence that was an election year too.

As communities vent their anger about what they perceive as inadequate delivery by government, University of Cape Town political analyst Dr Zwelethu Jolobe said there’s no real correlation between the frequency of protests and voters’ choices at the ballot box.

“We have to establish first whether we can make a connection between protests and elections and at the moment, I’m not sure if we can.”

Whether service delivery protests translate to lost votes or not, these kinds of community actions have been flagged by police as one of the security threats ahead of the elections.

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