What does the number 12,399 mean for South Africa’s 2014 Election?


South Africa’s protest culture in numbers

Service-delivery protest


Crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in September 2013 showed that between April 2012 and March 2013, police responded to 12,399 incidents of public unrest. ‘Public unrest’ in these instances was described as, but not limited to, marches, demonstrations and rallies not sanctioned by police or municipal authorities. Of the 12,399 incidents recorded, 10,517 were regarded as ‘peaceful’, meaning that 1,882 of the recorded incidents were defined as violent ‘public-order policing incidents’; in 2009, statistics put that figure at 1,014. This represents an increase of 85% when comparing 2008/2009’s figures to those of 2012/2013. When divided by all 365 days of the calendar year, this means that police responded to 5 reports of violent public unrest and disturbances to public order every single day in South Africa. Although the number of reported incidents of this nature has grown…

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