ANC factions are behind some service delivery protests, according to new research, City Press reported on Sunday.
The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and Wits University analysed protest hotspots in Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
According to report based on the research named The Smoke That Calls, ANC members played a leading role in all protests.
In one case study "several informants maintained that the group was formed by the mayor to support her in her fallout with the council speaker".
Some had joined to fight corruption, others hoped for jobs, while still others had been aggrieved because their access to tenders had dried up.
In another case, the eruption of protests was linked to divisions within the town council. The speaker had apparently fed confidential information to protest organisers in order to undermine the mayor, the weekly reported.
No towns were named in the report.
The ANC could not be reached for comment. – Sapa.