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Service Delivery Protest Barometer

The Service Delivery Protest Barometer presents trends in service delivery protests in South Africa since 2007.

The Barometer focuses on trends in four areas, namely

  1. overall frequency
  2. geographical spread
  3. violence
  4. nature of grievances

The project is based on statistical data of protest incidents collected from media reports. The empirical emphasis of the project aims to provide an accurate, verifiable, and objective understanding of protest activity in South Africa.

Methodology and limitations

The findings should be considered with an awareness of the methodological limitations of the research, most notably a reliance on outside media sources instead of original data collection. However, the Barometer is useful in identifying major trends, many of which have immediate and significant policy implications. For a full description of the research methodology, click here.

Conditions for use

We encourage the use of the Service Delivery Protest Barometer as a means of furthering the related body of research and understanding of the topic. It is thus available for free download and reproduction. Please credit:

J. De Visser & D. Powell (2012) Service Delivery Protest Barometer 2007-2012 Cape Town: Multi-level Government Initiative, Community Law Centre.

Questions and comments


This Project was made possible with the assistance of the Ford Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the National Research Foundation.

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