Defend Truth

Politics

Service delivery problems need more than “caring”

Service delivery problems need more than “caring”

Despite what could be positively termed "people power" in Sakhile near Standerton, and the subsequent resignation of the entire mayoral committee the defusion of another service delivery crisis is just a pyrrhic victory.

Nothing underscores this more than police using rubber bullets to quell yet another riot over services the day after Sakhile died down. This time, four people were arrested and one person injured when police shot at demonstrators blocking a road with burning tyres and rocks in Riverlea, Johannesburg. That is right next door to Soccer City, the primary venue for the 2010 soccer World Cup.

As we have said, there is a fascinating pattern at play here. People protest, and provincial government fails to deal with the situation (having fomented it in the first place via corruption, arrogance and laziness). Then greenhorns in cabinet such as deputy police minister Fikile Mbalula and home affairs’ Malusi Gigaba are sent in along with provincial safety and security types (read Mpumalanga MEC Sibongile Manana) and the evergreen Julius Malema, to restore calm. A few local councillors stand down in the face of this total party (not just government) onslaught, and the problems remain to fester and flare up again.

Where government and the party get it totally wrong is by using only a hammer and no nails in constructing their response to poor service delivery, partly caused by their confusion of their statutory roles. And Kader Asmal hit a nail square on the head when he went public abut the militarisation of the police as “low-level political decision-making”. This development is reminiscent of apartheid’s crude and thoughtless approach to crime and unrest and it’s underlying causes, despite the social pantomime played out by the ANC. Let’s hope the media’s so-called misinterpretation of Jacob Zuma’s words to police station chiefs really don’t come to mean “shoot to kill”.

By Mark Allix

Read more: IOL, TimesLive

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options