Free State could be a protest hotspot in run-up to elections - Municipal IQ

The country has since the beginning of the year recorded 53 major service delivery protests, a trend which Municipal IQ said was common in the run- up to elections.

Mangaung residents took to the streets on 17 May 2021, blocking at least 15 roads across the metro. Picture: Twitter screengrab/@PutSAPele.

JOHANNESBURG - Municipal IQ, a web data company specialising in the monitoring of municipalities across the country, warned of a spike in service delivery protests - especially in the Free State in the run-up to local government elections.

There have been incidents of protests in the Free State and Gauteng in recent days, with residents damaging state and private property.

The country has since the beginning of the year recorded 53 major service delivery protests, a trend which Municipal IQ said was common in the run-up to elections.

Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese said it appeared that the Free State could be the most problematic area.

"It's likely the Free State will see a lot of protests, given what's happened in the past month as well as the difficulties the Free State has seen with service delivery."

There was a decrease in demonstrations as compared to previous years, but Heese explained what the major drivers of these protests were: "There does seem to be some degree of political involvement."

Other areas that have been hit by demonstrations include Soweto. Since 2014, Gauteng has been the centre of protests, followed by KwaZulu-Natal.

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