Leaders ignore restless masses

FILE IMAGE: Hundreds of angry shack dwellers embarked on protests along the M19 highway in Durban on Monday April 29 2019.
FILE IMAGE: Hundreds of angry shack dwellers embarked on protests along the M19 highway in Durban on Monday April 29 2019.
Image: Supplied

During apartheid, violence was used to fight the oppressive system. It is still the order of the day.

When South Africans protest and use violence, they are making a political statement. Violence is a tool the masses use to fight political battles. This is partly because political leaders don't give them an ear.

The government is also promoting violence in communities. When the masses protest peacefully, political leaders don't respond to their grievances.

Last week, Katlehong residents, in the East Rand, protested over a lack of electricity and torched a school.

The MEC for education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, said the department won't fix the school.

In the same week, finance minister Tito Mboweni posted a picture on Facebook of residents of Orlando East, Soweto, protesting against the installation of electricity meters. Protesters barricaded the streets with burning tyres.

It is not enough to condemn violent protests. The government should address the underlying issues.

The government is responsible for the near-collapse of Eskom. It has failed to build power stations in time and it also promoted corruption at the electricity utility.

Leaders who are involved in corruption and maladministration have been returned to parliament.

Is the governing party showing the masses the middle finger, knowing that they can't do anything?

Violence is not going away any time soon in SA. That's why we need to fight it with everything we have. It could help for our leaders to be responsive and listen to the masses.

Thabile Mange,email

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