Piloting a Legal Perspective on Community Protests and the Pursuit of Safe(r) Cities in South Africa

Keywords: Right to protest;, community protest;, Sustainable Development Goals


This article considers the right to protest and pilots an initial legal response to the phenomenon of community protest against the global policy ideal of a safe urban space, determined in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11 and 16. First, there is a discussion about the global desire for safe(r) cities and the threats to such safety. Second, the causes and effects of community protest and the politics of urban space are considered. Third, there is a discussion of the City of Cape Town’s safety profile and the occurrence of community protests as an illustration of the conceptual frameworks in parts one and two. The authors conclude with some observations on the notion of safe cities and communities as embodied in SDGs 11 and 16, and reflect in brief on a future research agenda from the perspective of law.

Author Biographies

Myrone Stoffels, North-West University

Lecturer, Faculty of Law

Anel Du Plessis, North-West University

Proffessor of Law, South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES)