No connection between rise in protests and elections - analyst

Political analyst Zwelethu Jolobe says that there's no real correlation between protests and elections and the rise in community unrest could be attributed to a number of factors.

Alexandra residents took to the streets on 3 April 2019 demanding better service delivery in the township. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

CAPE TOWN - There is no real connection between an apparent rise in service delivery protests and election season.

That is according to political analyst Zwelethu Jolobe from UCT's politics department.

His remarks come as Alexandra residents in Johannesburg barricaded roads in protest on Wednesday.

Jolobe says that there's no real correlation between protests and elections and the rise in community unrest could be attributed to a number of factors.

"Firstly, I would separate national electoral issues with local contests because they are more about local issues than about the general election that creates heightened conditions to raise awareness of those issues."

Monitoring group Municipal IQ reports that Gauteng is still the nation's biggest hotspot for such community action.

The latest protest data came as residents of Alexandra took to the streets to demand better living conditions and services.

But Municipal IQ says that it still remains to be seen whether the run-up to the May elections will see an even bigger increase in protests.