South African Protest Habits According To Police Records

epa04987156 South African students clash with police during violent protests in the parliament precinct, Cape Town, South Africa, 21 October 2015. Protesters broke through the gates of parliamnet in an unprecedented violent protest that breached through the gates into parliament. Several students and police were injured in the clashes. Students are protesting against a proposed hike in tuition fees. EPA/NIC BOTHMA

What do South Africans complain about when they take to the streets in protest? Recent disruptions in Vuwani and at universities nationwide suggest that education is a hot topic‚ but labour protests are the long-standing leaders in this arena.

According to a research report launched on Tuesday at the University of Johannesburg just under half the protests recorded by police between 1997 and 2013 were labour protests.

This is followed by community protests‚ which make up a little less than a quarter of police-recorded protests in the time period.

The new research uses data on “crowd incidents” recorded by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in its Incident Registration Information System (IRIS) to assess and analyse protests in the country.

Here is the report’s breakdown of police-recorded protests by focus between 1997 and 2013:
– 46% of protests focused on labour‚
– 22.1% were community protests‚
– 13.1% of protests were classified as “other”‚
– 9.6% of protests were crime-related‚
– 5.3% of protests were about education‚
– 1.7% of protests were about political parties‚ 0.6% related to traditional governance and 0.4% to xenophobia.

The report concedes‚ however‚ that the use of police records cannot provide an accurate analysis of what protests have been about as determining the focus of a protest required a reading of the incident “notes”.

Between 1997 and 2013 there were roughly 11 police-recorded protests per day‚ but this figure was likely higher‚ the report found.

In the time period 80% of protests were categorised as “orderly”‚ 10% as “disruptive” and 10% as “violent”.

Disorderly protests have been on the rise since 2005‚ however‚ the report said.


Source: Herald Live


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