The new struggle: Service delivery-related unrest in South Africa

Lucius Botes, Molefi Lenka, Lochner Marais, Zacheus Matebesi and Kholisa Sigenu

A series of local protests (also commonly referred to as service-related protests) erupted in a number of municipalities in South Africa during 2004 and 2005. Some of these disruptions continued into 2006, with renewed protests occurring in 2007. The Free State was the province with the largest number of municipalities where unrest occurred, although protest action in North West Province also became significant in early 2007.

One of the protests that turned violent took place in Phomolong near Hennenman on the Free State Goldfields early in 2005. This report aims to analyse the protests in Phomolong. The case study is one in a series of four. The analysis is also conducted in the light of a brief overview of the generalised protest that featured in the Free State during 2004 and 2005.

After contextualising the protests within the Free State, the paper provides a socio-economic profile of Matjhabeng, and more specifically of Phomolong, so as to inform the events that marked the Phomolong protests.

The decline in the mining industry had serious impacts on other sectors of the economy. Manufacturing, for example, declined by two per cent per annum due to the drop in demand from the mining houses. The impacts are also evident in the declining economic growth rates for Construction and Electricity.

Botes, L., Lenka, M., Marais, L. Matebesi, Z., & Sigenu,, K. (2007). The new struggle: Service delivery-related unrest in South Africa. Bloemfontein, Centre for Development Support.

South Africa
The new struggle: Service delivery-related unrest in South Africa