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MAPPED: 13 communities across SA rocked by protests

These are the 13 areas nationwide demanding the attention of politicians ahead of the May elections.

FILE: Alexandra township residents burn tyres in the middle of the street as they clash with the Johannesburg Metro Police on 3 April 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Ahead of the much-anticipated general elections set for 8 May, there has been a sporadic up-pick in service delivery protests in South Africa.

Furious residents from various communities across the country - including Alexandra in the City of Joburg and the City of Tshwane in Gauteng, Strand in the Western Cape, and Kroonstad in Free State - engaged in protests over demands ranging from housing, unemployment, electricity and water.

Since Thursday, the unrest claimed the lives of four people countrywide related to protests, which have seen the closure of roads in towns with burning tyres and debris, and have also seen police engaged in running battles with protesters.

The government's Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, the police ministry and the Independent Electoral Commission on Thursday briefed the media on the country's state of readiness ahead of the elections.

The SAPS identified a few hotspots where law enforcement visibility would be intensified to prevent shutdowns and no-go areas to stop the public from being able to vote.

Police also earmarked a few hotspots in KwaZulu-Natal for possible unrest flaring up related to political tensions, as well as Vuwani in Limpopo, where some residents have reportedly vowed no voting would take place in the area.

Municipal IQ, which specialises in local government data, last week announced a record-high number of service delivery protests across the country in the first quarter of 2019.

The organisation said the uptick in protests was expected as communities make the most of the opportunity to draw politicians’ attention to their plights ahead of the key polls.

Here are the 13 communities countrywide that have been rocked by service delivery protests.

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