ISS: Protests have become more violent over the past three years

Its research also shows a decline in demonstrations countrywide between 2013 and 2015.

FILE: A bus was set alight and roads blocked in Hammanskraal following service delivery protests in the area. Picture: Arrive Alive.

CAPE TOWN - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says that protests have become more violent over the past three years.

Its research also shows a decline in demonstrations countrywide between 2013 and 2015.

The institute hosted a seminar on the causes of violent demonstrations which also touched on election-related violence.

The institute's preliminary research shows that the number of protests dropped from 1,200 in 2013 to just over 520 last year.

There have been almost 350 protests since January.

ISS researcher Lizette Lancaster says a study by the University of Johannesburg shows only 20% of protests were violent or disorderly between 1997 and 2012.

"The data showed that about 50% of the incidents remained peaceful but there is a larger propensity of events to turn violent."

Lancaster says until inequality, unemployment and poverty in general are properly addressed, protests will continue across the country.