Political analyst, Dr Sethulego Matebesi, says it is unfortunate that the plight of many communities around the country is only taken seriously during election season.

Several provinces were hit by violent service delivery protests this week.

In Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, residents took to the streets to protest against the mushrooming of illegal shacks, while on the West Rand, residents of Bekkersdal shut down the area over a lack of electricity at informal settlements.

There has been an outcry on social media following President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing Alexandra residents while wearing full ANC regalia on Thursday.

Matebesi says in the lead up to the May polls, political parties such as the governing ANC blur the lines between state obligation and party campaigning.

He says: “People are using elections as a bargaining forum to try and at least get the ears and eyes of a non responsive state. You’ve got heightened election campaigning, all these political leaders are making statements which I strongly believe at the end of the day sometimes they do not mean it.”

“What message is that sending. The question is will the President have gone to Alexandra if it was not election time?”