News & events


Community Protest

08 March 2016
11:30 - 14:00


A snapshot survey of local government perceptions Community protests complicate local government business


From 1997 to 2013, Public Order Police recorded 156 000 gatherings. In the same period, 4493 protest incidents directly linked to service delivery discontent were recorded. The attendant trend towards escalating protest frequency since 2009 is increasingly associated with violence. Around two thirds of recorded community protests labelled as ‘service delivery protests’ are found in the urban centres of three provinces, Gauteng, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape but localised protest dynamics differ from place to place.

Download presentation below by Justin Steyn

Local government is the sphere of government with the highest exposure to community discontent and whatever protesters do will ultimately cost Local Government. Clearing litter and repairing damage to or replacing infrastructure and equipment compounds resource stress issues. Despite coping with these challenges, Local Government also contends with its own structural and capacity issues, which differ according to localised conditions. 

The causes of community protests are multiple and this complicates the constructive management of issues that do not necessarily have anything to do with Local Government’s mandates, complicating or delaying Local Government business. Such disruptions have become pronounced enough to warrant concerted provincially-based efforts to create war rooms and community protest data collection systems. Is it the case that Local Government is, for the most part, alone in dealing with the institutional challenges created by Community Protest?

DATE: 8 March 2016    
TIME: 11:00 for 11:30 – 14:00
Video Conference Facilities in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein  as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Kindly RSVP by 20 February 2016Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Carmen August, Tel (021) 466 7827, Fax (021) 461 0299, or
Durban :  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Street, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail
Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Justin Steyn  or  Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Download presentation below by Justin Steyn