Examining the possible influence of societal violence on governance effectiveness in South Africa

06 Oct 2017

This paper examines the possible influence of violent protests on the effectiveness of governance in South Africa. South Africa continues to experience huge number of labour as well as popular municipal service delivery protests. The popular social view with ensuing protests has often pointed at governance inefficiency as the cause of violent protests. This paper adopts a slightly different view in its analysis of violent protests and instead looks at possible influence of violence as possible instigator of ineffective governance. The paper is conceptually rooted in reviews ? combined with simple regression test of possible relationship between violent protest and governance effectiveness. The authors also present an examination of probable relationship between violent protests and governance effectiveness using observation of macro-economic data trends from the World Bank. The findings reveal a probable weakening in governance effectiveness or its perception thereof as a result of violent protests. Amongst others, violent protests produces a psyche of perpetual victimhood that leads to further violence resulting in less value attached to lives, destruction of economic property, increases pollution, production stoppages for goods and services and in turn depletes government revenue generation and frustrates international investors. We postulate that under condition explained above, government effectiveness in managing public resources becomes weakened and may lead to wastage and inefficiency as the resources and revenues employed in controlling violent protests are unplanned and do not often lead to constructive and sustainable public policy. We suggest that this condition therefore may result in reduction in economic growth which in turn perpetuates the same weaknesses that led to society protests and violence.