oa African Journal of Public Affairs - South Africa’s landscape of social protests : a way forward for developmental local government? - research

Volume 10 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1997-7441



Social protests often occur at the borders of state and society and are driven by social movements and networks of people who engage in civil strife against local government. There is serious discontent among the poor in post-apartheid South Africa, currently the second most unequal society in the world. Since 2004 there were hundreds of local protests throughout South Africa. These protests did not only increase in number and incidence but also in intensity, becoming more violent and more destructive. The article explores the key reasons for these social protests and the multiple intended and unintended consequences of these protests. It also reflects on where this civil strife leaves SA’s developmental local government. The article found that the key reasons for these social protests have been more than just dissatisfaction with lack of pace and quality of service delivery. The article is based on a documentary and literature analysis to document the current knowledge, views, trends of service delivery, community and social protests as well as and civil strife in South Africa.

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