ENABLING THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST IN SOUTH AFRICA

Resources

Access the latest information and resources on protest.
Go to LEGAL RESOURCES & REPORTS

LEGAL RESOURCES & REPORTS

Access relevant legislation, jurisprudence and domestic, regional and international reports on protest.

Go to Digital Protest

Digital Protest

Learn about the use of digital technology within the context of traditional ‘physical’ protests and virtual acts of protest in the digital space itself.

Go to Surveillance

Surveillance

Learn about basic strategies activists can adopt to secure their communications and information sharing arrangements.

Go to Responsible Officer Directory

Responsible Officer Directory

Access the contact details of the official(s) responsible for facilitating protests in your area.

GIVE NOTICE OF GATHERING / PROTEST

A Quick Guide to Peaceful Protest

How to comply with the Regulations of Gatherings Act (RGA).
"Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble".

Protest in South Africa is regulated by section 17 of the Constitution and the RGA, which provides that all protests must be peaceful and unarmed.

In order to protest in compliance with the RGA, a Convener (the person chosen to lead the protest) must give a notice of gathering / protest to the Responsible Officer (the person who facilitates the protest) at their local municipality or police station, at least 7 days before the planned protest, but only if more than 15 people are protesting.

In exceptional circumstances, notice can be given at least 48 hours before the planned protest.

After notice has been given, the Convener may be called to a meeting with the Responsible Officer and the police to discuss the logistics of the protest. After the meeting, or if a meeting is not called, the protest can proceed in accordance with the information contained in the notice.

Peaceful and unarmed protest is your constitutional right and it can only be restricted in limited instances.

  • If no, you do not need to give a notice of gathering and the protest can proceed.

crowd-control weapons

Learn about the health consequences of crowd-control weapons (CCWs) from a recently released INCLO report.

KINETIC IMPACT PROJECTILES

Kinetic impact projectiles (KIPs), often called rubber or plastic bullets, are regularly used in crowd-control settings around the world. These weapons were developed in an effort to allow security and law enforcement personnel to keep their physical distance.

Chemical Irritants

Chemical irritants, conventionally referred to as “tear gas”, are a group of CCWs that include a variety of chemical compounds intended to produce sensory irritation.

WATER CANNONS

Typically referred to as water cannons, various types of water hoses either connected to in-ground water supplies or mobile bladders (often on trucks) have been used since the early 1700s, initially for fighting fires and later also for dispersing crowds or limiting access to certain areas.

DISORIENTATION DEVICES

Disorientation or concussion devices, also known as flash-bangs or stun grenades, are weapons that function by creating a loud explosion and/or a very bright flash of light.

Find Questions and Answers (Q&A) about protests for Protesters, Responsible Officers, and Law Enforcement Officials / Private Security Officers.

Latest news

Contact the LRC for advice

We will try to contact you within 24 hours. If you need urgent advice, please contact us telephonically on 011 836 9831.