PolicyLab has launched an online map that tracks incidents of violence, looting, arson, protests and other instability during the ongoing unrest in South Africa.
The Unrest Map was created by Christopher Wood and Devi Pillay, who produced a dataset of incidents using credible, verifiable reports from the media.
“The map aims to provide a high-level overview of the unrest, to allow for both a better understanding of the big picture of the challenges as they unfold, and to facilitate future learning from this very difficult period,” PolicyLab stated.
“All credit for the tracking and reporting of disturbances belongs to the journalists who covered them.”
According to Unrest Map, it had identified 163 incidents of unrest by 10:00 on 14 July 2021.
Each incident is represented by a triangular node or sign on the map, with three different types describing either looting, arson, or another form of unrest.
These are indicated as shown in the following image.
Visitors to the site can click on a node to find out more about an incident’s location and show the source of the report.
Clicking on the source will direct the visitor to the relevant news article.
The images below show what this would look like for various types of incidents.
The map is accompanied by a graph that provides more information about the incidents. This feature was temporarily unavailable at the time of publication, however.
When online, visitors can find out more about the types of incidents listed by resting their mouse cursor over the various sections in the graph.
PolicyLab requested visitors email them to assist with updating the map with incidents or to report incorrect information.
“Please note that only incidents that are corroborated by official statements, news reports or clear video or photographic evidence will be added,” the site stated.
Arrests and deaths
According to the latest update from the Presidency, 1,230 suspects had been arrested in connection with public violence and looting by 13:00 on Tuesday.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 547 suspects were arrested while 683 suspects were in custody in Gauteng.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has announced it will oppose bail for these suspects.
SAPS head of corporate communication and liaison Major General Mathapelo Peters said that there were currently 72 deaths linked to the riots.
She said many of the deaths were caused by stampeding looters. In one incident, 10 people were crushed to death during a looting spree at the Ndofaya shopping centre in Gauteng.