Officials to meet over service delivery protests

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cape Town - Municipal and provincial officials are expected to meet tomorrow to discuss how to handle violent service delivery protests, said Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka today.

Briefing the media in Parliament today, Shiceka said a mechanism was being developed to allow municipalities to handle grievances and protests from communities, while putting in place the municipal turnaround strategy.

He said there was a "high degree of unhappiness" about the quality and quantity of services that are being delivered by municipalities.

"We have discovered that these protests, without exception, have happened because the people have been raising issues with municipalities without a response," he said.

He believed the increase in protests at municipalities could also be attributed to the fact that government was looking more closely at service delivery problems.

"To us it's like a baby who is crying when it sees a parent, because we are dealing with issues people are raising these things more so they are able to get attention," explained Shiceka.

However he urged that as much as the issues raised by communities were genuine, that people should not opt to turn to violence, but rather use peaceful means to resolve problems.