||Social protests in South Africa are frequent: an average of more than 8000 ‘Gatherings Act’ incidents per year since the mid-2000s, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS). This rate is one of the highest in the world, per person. But much more detail is required about the grievances behind what are sometimes termed ‘service delivery protests.’ Using the Centre for Civil Society’s Social Protest Observatory, which relies mainly upon media accounts and hence can be considered a limited (and biased) sample, this paper attempts to highlight trends regarding reasons for protest, methods of protest, and the profile of protesters and their numbers. Durban is not typical, but a reflection of media reporting is illustrative. The paper also seeks to understand South African unrest in the light of studies conducted in Latin America and India regarding cultural traditions and repertoires of local-level protest.