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Mitigating service delivery protest through skills development and employment

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Corporate author/s:

University of the Witwatersrand, Centre for Researching Education and Labour

Person/s author/s:

Lolwana, Peliwe; Dieltiens, Veerle; Luxomo, Gift; Matsinhe, Stella


research report



The specific aim of this research is to explore how to mitigate violence associated with service delivery protests through skills development programmes targeted at youth. If local government is to heal relations with young people, could skills development programmes act as a mediator? What would such skills programmes include to be successful? It needs to be said at the outset that this research has faith that skills development programmes can have a positive impact on young people and may mitigate their involvement in perpetrating violence during service delivery protests. At the same time, we do not claim that skills programmes will solve failures in service delivery or prevent protests. The intention is not to delegitimize protest action against local government. Rather, the aim is to understand how local government ought to be implementing youth development programmes and how it does so in practice. The gap between policy intention and implementation is what the research hopes to explain. The research is, however, only exploratory. Since empirical work was conducted only in one site - in Bekkersdal - this research is not a comprehensive analysis of all communities, youth and protest action. It does however provide pointers to the criteria for successful interventions in youth development at a local government level.

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