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While the ANC is preparing for a big June 16 celebration in Orlando, other areas of Soweto are staging violent service delivery protests. Dube and Meadowlands Townships were the scenes of chaos on Tuesday evening and the early hours of this morning. Residents went on rampage and vandalized properties including ATMs. They also looted businesses.

The protests in these two areas were fuelled by electricity cuts and unfulfilled promises by President Jacob Zuma. Hardly a month after Zuma announced and promised that South Africa will never have load shedding again, people in Soweto were hit by electricity cut for over a day.

The country has seen a wave of violent protest recently and many of these protests are happening because people are tired of empty promises. Disappointments with the delivery of basic services such as water and electricity appear to be mostly fuelling the protests.

Most townships and informal settlements that embarked on these protests are those which have been lied to before. People there continue to experience the same service delivery challenges again and again.

Since Zuma’s government came into being, South Africa has been hit by endless violent protests: service delivery protests by residents, wage increment demands by workers, free education ultimatums by young people and jobs demands by unemployed South Africans.

Although the ANC always blames some murky third force for inciting these service delivery or workers protests, the inescapable fact is that government is delivering much below par.

Meanwhile Kagiso residents have blocked off a local main road with burning tyres and their protest was also about electricity.

COPE believes that it is in everyone’s interest to promote the creation of “voters blocs” in every ward to genuinely place politicians on terms. Nothing else will work. People are tired of empty promises and are resorting to destructive means to get attention.

Issued by COPE

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