ANC: Statement by Jackson Mthembu, African National Congress Spokesperson, on violent service delivery protests (29/09/2009)

29th September 2009

The African National Congress (ANC) has - once again - noted with concern violence accompanying recent service delivery protests, particularly the huge damage caused to public and private property in latest sporadic incidents in Lekwa, Mpumalanga.
While we know that communities have genuine concerns, violence which has in Lekwa led to a home of Lekwa Municipality Speaker Tuch Ndlovu being burnt - blocking of roads and destruction of public property which has cost taxpayers millions, cannot be condoned. In the words of ANC President Jacob Zuma: "This cannot be how we wish to solve problems." We call on communities to engage constructively with Government and not to destroy what the country struggled for decades to achieve. The ANC also calls on the Lekwa Municipality assisted by the Mpumalanga Government to urgently address community concerns.
We appreciate the swift action by police in Lekwa for having arrested suspects linked to these incidents and warn anyone seeking to engage in further forms of violence to expect the full might of the law.
The ANC wishes to assure all South Africans that genuine service delivery concerns are receiving urgent attention at the ANC's highest decision making body - the National Executive Committee (NEC).
The ANC-led Government is a caring organisation, hence we have launched a hotline in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, which serves as a platform for people to express thoughts and concerns. Through this, we will continue with our quest to remove all service delivery concerns in Mpumalanga and elsewhere in the country.