The report follows on as a continuation from the previous protest report, Protest Narrative Deep Dive Report, which unpacked how the protest narrative against load shedding was hijacked by ill-meaning actors to sow division in society by hijacking the conversation about load shedding to serve factional squabbles.
South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis - to the extent of Stage 6 power cuts, has given rise to a number of protests since the beginning of the year.
Organised by civil society and political parties alike, the core mandate has always been to urge Eskom and government to come up with a solution to the rolling blackouts and prevent further destruction to people’s lives and livelihoods.
Despite the validity of these concerns, not all parties have acted in the interest of fellow citizens. Most recently, the EFF mobilised its own protest that they referred to as a “National Shutdown”.
This had been in the planning stages since late February. Its success remains a matter of public debate, however, the party geared the shutdown towards contesting load shedding and calling for the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Researchers conducted social media analysis to understand the sub-themes within the conversation.
They found that:
Find the full report here.