At the heart of discontent: measuring public violence in South Africa

ISS' new research provides a more accurate picture of the nature and extent of public violence in South Africa

Civil protests and strike action have become increasingly commonplace in South Africa. Although several institutions collect data on various forms of protest, the available information varies in quality, reliability, coverage and accessibility.

In 2014, the Institute for Security Studies launched its interactive public and election violence-monitoring project to provide a more accurate picture of the nature and extent of public violence in South Africa. 

This paper sets out some of the preliminary findings from the project and provides suggestions on how appropriate responses to protest and strike action can be developed.

About the author

Lizette Lancaster manages and has overseen the creation of the South African Crime and Justice Information and Analysis Hub of the Institute for Security Studies’ Governance, Crime and Justice Division. Her focus is the collection, analysis and dissemination of data to promote evidence-based crime- and violence-reduction policies and strategies.

Development partners
This paper was made possible with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Ford Foundation. The ISS is also grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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