Service delivery protests are increasing, and 94% of them recorded this year were violent, research organisation Municipal IQ said on Monday. "April was a particularly protest-prone month in North West, Northern Cape and Free State municipalities; often affecting roads and basic services," Municipal IQ economist Karen Heese said. "Of great concern is that 94% of the service delivery protests we have recorded this year have been violent — a significant uptick when compared with 76% since 2004." According to Municipal IQ’s Hotspots Monitor, the Eastern Cape overtook Gauteng as this year’s most protest-prone province. The North West was close behind Gauteng in third place, Heese said. Violent protests have recently flared up in the North West regarding the province’s health department. Late last month, the Cabinet invoked Section 100(1b) of the Constitution to take over the health department in the province. Protesters were reportedly blocking access to hospitals and threatened to burn...

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