For the period of 03 June – 09 June the Civil Unrest Query run by CABC returned:18610 mentions. 9 956 unique authors were involved in the conversation. Using that query 28 separate protests were identified as having occurred in the past week within South Africa. This document provides some analysis and commentary on those protests, as well as on the online conversation about protests in South Africa.
Summary of the Reporting Period:
Twenty-eight protests were recorded.
Of the 28 Protests:
- Two were related to salaries
- One was related to housing / evictions
- Ten were related to service delivery of either water or electricity
- Seven were related to COVID-19
- Four were related to race / racism, and
- Four were of unknown motive
Protest 1 – Salaries
Mogale City workers in Johannesburg are still on a go-slow protest. This started on 22nd of May, and is as a result of non-payment from the Municipality. The workers have not received payment for the hours they have worked during lockdown. However, the municipality is working to obtain a R100 million overdraft facility approved so payment can be made to the workers.
Source: The Citizen
Protest 2 – Service Delivery – Water
On the 3rd of June 2020 on Gingindlovu road, KwaZulu Natal, community members blocked the street and torched a truck in protest against the lack of service delivery, specifically water supply.
Protest 3 – Unknown
On the 3rd of June 2020 on Dokodweni Offramp, KwaZulu Natal a protest was reported, which included burning and debris. The reason for the protest is unknown.
Protest 4 – Housing / Evictions
On the 3rd of June 2020 in Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town, community members continued to protest. Protests started last week and ended around the 3rd/4th of June. Protests were related to the removal of a number of illegal structures and evictions of residents. At least four people were arrested.
Protest 5 – COVID – PPE
On the 3rd of June 2020 several paramedics at KwaMushu Polyclinic, KwaZulu Natal, took part in a gathering to express their frustrations with the lack of sufficient COVID-19 protection after one of the staff members tested positive.
Protest 6 – Service Delivery – Electricity
On the 3rd of June 2020 in Zinniaville, North West, community members destroyed electrical boxes resulting in some homes being damaged, in a protest against the municipality disconnecting and destroying illegal electricity connections in the township. Residents of Zinniaville expressed that issues regarding the ‘squatters’ in the area have been building up for months after the government failed to provide proper housing and services to displaced citizens.
Source: The South African
Protest 7 – Race / Racism – BlackLivesMatter
On the 3rd of June 2020, Cape Town citizens protested outside parliament in solidarity with those protesting in the USA and across the world over the death of George Floyd.
Protest 8 – Unknown
On the 3rd of June 2020, in Elspark Germiston, Gauteng, a protest occurred which included blocking off the road. The motive for the protest is unknown.
Protest 9 – COVID – PPE and salaries
On the 4th of June 2020 across several Port Elizabeth hospitals including Livingstone, healthcare workers implemented a go-slow protest regarding lack of adequate personal protective equipment, staff shortage and overtime pay. The dispute appears to have started between Unions and hospital managements, and has manifested with hospital staff members participating by refusing to wash hospital linen for patients.
Source: Sunday Times
Protest 10 – Service Delivery – Water
On the 5th of June 2020 the community of KwaMsane, KwaZulu Natal, torched a truck in a form of protest against the non-delivery of water. Community members also blocked parts of the road and threw stones at passing vehicles.
Source: Sunday Times
Protest 11 – Race / Racism
On the 5th of June 2020 pupils from over 20 elite Cape high schools, Western Cape, took to social media to expose racist experiences at the hands of staff and fellow pupils at private and former Model C schools. The pupils protested at their various school grounds, handing over memorandums to school leaders expressing their demands to curb racism within the schooling system.
Protest 12 – Salaries
On the 6th of June 2020, South African Express employees protested at the Union Buildings, Gauteng, demanding retrenchment packages as the airline faces liquidation as it was placed in business rescue in February. The airline employees said that they have not been paid since March. The company deducted medical aid and UIF contributions from their employees salaries, but has failed to compensate employees during this time. Staff allege that these deductions were misappropriated.
Protest 13 – Race / Racism
On the 7th of June 2020 the youth and activists from the Kathrada Foundation and Kathrada Youth protested against racism at the Hector Pieterson Museum, Gauteng.
Protest 14 – COVID – Schooling
On the 8th of June 2020 parents of Matsie Steyn Primary School, Gauteng, Grade 7 learners protested in demand for adequate cleaning of the school property before their children can attend classes.
Source: Vaal Weekblad
Protest 15 – Service Delivery – Water and Electricity
On the 8th of June 2020 Vanderbijlpark community members protested for clean water and electricity. The protest included burning of tyres and blockading the street.
Protest 16 – Race / Racism – BlackLivesMatter
On the 8th of June 2020 EFF members in Sandton and South African citizens joined in a protest against police brutality in the USA. The EFF mobilised a peaceful protest across South Africa and requested citizens to go to various law enforcement sites, including courts and police stations, and kneel for 8.46 minutes in prayer to demonstrate solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Source: Sandton Chronicle
Protest 17 – COVID – PPE
On the 8th of June 2020, nurses protested at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, over COVID-19 related health and safety concerns and accused the Western Cape Health Department of not complying with COVID-19 regulations, including transparent reporting and isolation procedures of workers who tested positive for COVID-19.
Protest 18 – COVID – Public Transport
On the 8th of June 2020 Putco bus passengers protested against bus load capacity regulations implemented in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The protest took place on Moloto road, Gauteng, and included passengers stopping Putco buses and stoning them because they couldn’t be let on the bus as capacity was reached.
Protest 19 – Service Delivery – Water
On the 8th of June 2020, Orange Farm Drieziek 3, Gauteng, residents protested against the lack of service delivery as the area has been without any water supply for almost 2 months.
Protest 20 – Unknown
On the 8th of June 2020, a taxi protest occurred at 18th Avenue and Strandfontein road, Cape Town. The reason for the protest is unknown.
Protest 21 – Service Delivery – Electricity
On the 8th of June 2020 residents of Silvertown, Western Cape, protested over the lack of electricity and blocked off the only entrance into the area, also stopping teachers at the nearby schools, Chatsworth Primary and Riverlands Primary, from getting to their schools.This protest was reported on during the previous period, and continues.
Source: All Africa
Protest 22 – Service Delivery – Electricity
On the 8th of June 2020 in Extension 15 of Emfuleni, Gauteng, community members took part in a peaceful protest regarding electricity issues. However, some community members claim that the police used live ammunition.
Protest 23 – COVID – PPE
On the 8th of June 2020 healthcare workers at Tafalofefe Hospital, outside Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, walked out leaving patients stranded. This is the second recorded protest for this week in the Eastern Cape regarding inadequate PPE for health workers and concerns for their safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: The South African
Protest 24 – Service Delivery – Water
On the 8th of June 2020 community members of Tafuleni, near Pietermaritzburg, blockaded the entrance to Bhekuximba Secondary school and Bhekamatshe Primary school in a protest against the lack of water services and supply in the area. A water trunk was being sent to the two schools to assist them in preparing to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, residents prevented the water truck from reaching the schools, and sent the school children home. They said that water needed to be given to the surrounding communities before it is given to the school. The area has been without water for 2 years.
Source: Ground UP
Protest 25 – Unknown
On the 9th of June 2020, a go-slow vehicle protest took place on the N12 West between Benoni and Boksburg. The motive of the protest is unknown.
Protest 26 – Service Delivery
On the 9th of June 2020, public demonstrations occurred on the major routes leading out of Dobsonville, Soweto, and its surrounding, Gauteng. The reason for the protests were regarding the lack of service delivery. The protest resulted in delays in Rea Vaya buses as buses had to be diverted.
Protest 27 – Service Delivery – Electricity
On the 9th of June 2020, residents of Mofolo North, Soweto, Gauteng protested against the lack of electricity in the area. The protest involved blocking the area with stones and burning tyres.
Protest 28 – COVID-19 – Public Transport
On the 9th of June 2020, a taxi protest occurred on the corner of Solomon Mahlangu and R104 Old Pretoria road, Gauteng. The protest was against the 70% taxi load capacity under the COVID-19 regulations with taxi drivers demanding the government to subsidize the income shortfall or they will increase taxi fare.
Consumers panic alcohol as liquor ban rumours surface
On the 8th of June 2020 after a few WhatsApp voice notes suggesting the ban on the sale of alcohol would be reinstated, sent South African drinkers into a state of mild panic. Government has officially responded saying that these rumours are currently untrue.
Source: The South African
The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC) is a non-profit organisation based at UCTs Graduate School of Business and incubated by the Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership. It was established to track and counter mis- and disinformation, fake news and divisive and polarising rhetoric that is promulgated online to undermine social cohesion, democratic integrity, and the stability of nation states.