In 2018 a record number of service-delivery protests were recorded on our municipal hotspots monitor — one quarter higher than 2014’s previous record. It is significant too that 2014 was when the last general election occurred, suggesting that service-delivery protests are likely to remain high on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s agenda (along with ushering in a “new dawn” for SA, reinvigorating the economy, fighting factionalism and winning the election). Perhaps he should commiserate with France’s youngest president, Emmanuel Macron, who faces a similar challenge of civil unrest. Macron could glean some insight from SA into how to manage protests. For two months French towns and cities have witnessed increasingly violent protests by gilets jaunes (yellow-vested) protesters. The vests are required of all motorists as a safety measure alongside red triangles and initially were worn in protests against proposed fuel hikes imposed by centrist Macron. The protests have stunned the world, wi...

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