'Consolidated protests can destabilise GP'

The ISS says violent protests do not yet pose a threat to Gauteng's stability.

FILE: Sasolburg protests. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With Gauteng police having to divert resources to deal with violent protests on a daily basis, the Institute for Security Studies said these demonstrations don't pose a threat to stability in the province just yet.

Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros revealed on Monday there have been 650 protests over the last six weeks alone, 40 of which were violent.

Petros said police resources used during the violent protests could be better employed to fight crime instead.

He said, "Ordinarily those people would have been placed on the crime prevention unit in terms of increasing police visibility on the streets."

Head of ISS Crime and Justice Programme Gareth Newham said if protests are consolidated they have a potential to destabilise the province.

Newham said most of these violent demonstrations were sparked by anger towards politicians.

A string of service delivery protests have rocked the country recently with many calling for the President to directly listen to their demands.

The protests have proved to be costly as many businesses were looted, cars burned and roads barricaded.