AFRICANGLOBE – A South African research institute says youth unemployment and rising expectations are some of the causes of violent protests that have increased in recent months in the country.Georgina Alexander from the South African Institute of Race Relations said on Saturday that the government needs to address the deeper causes of the ongoing protests over service delivery.
Alexander, who is the institute’s programme manager, said the recent protests were triggered by the government’s poor service delivery, but there were also other deeper factors such as high youth unemployment.
“This is just a spark, the deeper reasons for the protest lie in levels of youth unemployment and dependency on state as well as increasing rising expectations that people have, but it is all directly reliant on the state to do something about it like to increase people’s living standard for them,” said Alexander.
The programme manager also called on the South African government to create an environment, which encourages investment.
“If policy reforms are not put in place, there is a threat that these protests will increase and become more violent. We have more people on social welfare at the moment in the country than those who have employment.”
South Africa has seen a series of protests, some of them violent in the past few months. The protesters are angry at the substandard utility deliveries, including the lack of water supply and electricity disconnecting.
At least four protesters were killed in January during violent clashes with police over access to water in North West Province.