The relationship between service delivery protests and voter turnout in South Africa between 2004 and 2015 : the case of the North West Province, South Africa
Ntjanyana, Tebogo Daniel
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A growing and healthy democracy is a system compounded by regular free, fair and credible elections, in which the ruling elites and political parties are elected into government. This process is legitimized by a popular participation of the electorate. Since 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) has dominated electoral politics of the North West Province through consistently attaining majority votes from the electorate.. However, this is one of the provinces in the Republic of South Africa characterised by the rise of violent service delivery protests. The electorate continuously votes the ANC into government despite the protests against poor delivery of services. Against this backdrop, this study examines the relationship between service delivery protests and voter turn-out in South Africa from 2004 until 2015, with specific reference to the North West Province. The study specifically answers the question as to whether service delivery protests achieve their intended objectives. This study further revealed that the inputs of the residents of various communities are not appreciated and considered sufficiently in the local development plans that guide delivery of services by the local municipalities within the province. Furthermore, the study found that, the dominant support towards the ANC is based on perceptions and fears that should any political party take over (specifically the DA), South Africa may possibly slide back to the Apartheid era established upon segregatory and oppressive policies towards non-whites. In sourcing data the study employed qualitative a research method through specifically utilizing techniques such as participant observation, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. Data was sourced from protesting members of the communities residing in the Ratlou, Tswaing, Mahikeng, Ditsobotla and Ramotshere Moiloa local municipalities, which respectively fall under the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality in the North West Province.
- Humanities