Home arrow Blog arrow Poor service delivery leads to death

Poor service delivery leads to death

Author: Kenny Ditshego | Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Kenny DitshegoEditor's note:

In the run up to the Local Government Elections we are receiving a wide range of comments from our readers, many of which are in response to our Newsletter "Local Government Elections: Loyalty vs Delivery". We will publish some of these as blogs provided they are not overtly party political.

Service delivery is one of the key mandates of government and the South African constitution clearly states that every citizen is entitled to a better service. It goes further to give citizens the right to protest if they not satisfied with the service they are receiving from government. Similarly, the government has given its servants, the South African Police Service, a mandate to protect citizens against any threats or criminal activities and to deal with those who fight against the law. The death of one protester in the Free State town of Ficksburg on 13th April 2011, allegedly at the hands of the SAPS, has outraged many people across the country.

The protests in Ficksburg occurred as a result of poor service delivery, lack of consultation and lack of good governance and, unfortunately, turned violent. It was reported that the protestor was attacked by at least six policemen simultaneously and the scene was shown to millions around the country that evening by SABC news.

This kind of situation leaves one with many questions as to which political party to vote for in the upcoming local elections on the 18th May 2011. Voters want to vote for a party that will deliver services to the community without having to protest. Service delivery should be something that brings a smile to a citizen’s face, not anger, frustration and death. It is so disturbing to read, listen and watch news about citizens protesting over basic services like water, sanitation, school and electricity.

To many observers the government has forgotten its post 1994 strategic and development programmes and it should revive the spirit of Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) which was set up to alleviate poverty and to address the massive shortfalls in social services across the country.

Every citizen has the right to life and has the right to protest against poor service delivery from the government. SAPS members also have the right to take action against law breakers. However the rule of law does not grant SAPS a right to harass, threaten and to kill poor, frustrated, angry communities.

Government must deliver services to the community as promised to avoid disturbing scenes like these in the future.  


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