Protest and riot event levels have increased dramatically over the recent decade, and make up the bulk of social unrest events in South Africa. Conflict levels increased dramatically in 2015 following xenophobic and anti-foreigner violence, as well as violent protests associated with the nationwide student protests of 2015/6 and preceding local elections in 2016. South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown also saw an increase in political instability. There were also large mass demonstrations associated with the #FreeJacobZuma and #KZNShutdown campaigns in July 2021. 2022 saw the largest number of protests at over 1250, as well as a large increase in political violence targeting local officials.