Residents of townships across the country have staged a series of protests against poor delivery of essential services such as housing, water and sanitation facilities, local media sources report. Some have taken on an anti-immigrant aspect, raising the spectre of a repeat of the xenophobic violence that swept South Africa just over a year ago.

In Cape Town Bush Radio reports that on 21 July angry residents from 15 informal settlements marched to the office of city mayor Dan Plato demanding better living conditions.

On the same day in Thokoza township near Johannesburg police fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of demonstrators protesting against poor housing conditions, the