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Cape Town after Apartheid

Cape Town after Apartheid: Crime and Governance in the Divided City

Tony Roshan Samara
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Cape Town after Apartheid
    Book Description:

    Cape Town after Apartheid is a critical case for understanding a transnational view of urban governance, especially in highly unequal, majority-poor cities. Tony Roshan Samara’s closely observed study of postapartheid Cape Town affords valuable insight into how security and governance technologies from the global North combine with local forms to create new approaches to social control in cities across the global South.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-7684-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations and Acronyms
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Map of Cape Town
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Introduction: Urban Geopolitics, Neoliberalism, and the Governance of Security
    (pp. 1-24)

    In December 2006, newspapers in Cape Town reported that high school students in the Cape Flats communities of Hanover Park and Nyanga were caught in the middle of yet another brutal gang war linked to the drug trade. This particular outbreak of violence was so disruptive that high school matriculation rates plummeted, dropping to 33 percent at Hanover Park’s Mount View High, down from 82 percent the year before. Principal Archie Benjamin told reporters from theCape Argusthat the dramatic decrease could be attributed to the ongoing gang wars. “Sometimes, learners had to stay away for about two weeks...

  7. 1 Security and Development in Postapartheid South Africa
    (pp. 25-53)

    South Africa may have avoided a full-scale civil war as the apartheid system crumbled because of the commitment by the major parties to what was eventually a successful peace negotiation. The criminal violence of the post-1994 period, however, concentrated in the same communities already reeling from high levels of political violence, challenges the notion of a relatively peaceful transition. Indeed, as the writer Mike Nicol has commented, it could be argued that urban crime became a replacement for the civil war that never happened.¹ Nicol’s observation, and the high crime rates that inform it, puts into question the extent to...

  8. 2 Children in the Streets: Urban Governance in Cape Town City Center
    (pp. 54-89)

    One legacy of youth leadership in the antiapartheid struggle after 1976 was that large numbers of young people, by virtue of taking to the streets, sacrificed their individual futures for that of their country. The continued evocation by politicians of youth development as a national priority is a reminder of this now historical, as well as historic, reality. A focus on the apartheid generation and its struggle, however, deserved as it is, may obscure a much deeper, and perhaps more powerful, current in the country’s history, the marginalization of black youth. Although the specifics of youth marginalization, including responses by...

  9. 3 Gangsterism and the Policing of the Cape Flats
    (pp. 90-122)

    In May 2002, the police and army rolled into several areas of the Cape Flats in response to a gang war. The conflict was between the Americans, allegedly the largest gang in the Cape, and the 28s, an entrenched prison gang that has spread out to the townships, but also included the many smaller gangs lined up on either side of the rivalry. In the course of a month, thirty-seven people were killed and thousands of children had to stay home as schools were closed in five different neighborhoods and army trucks stood guard over taxi routes. In the Lotus...

  10. 4 The Weight of Policing on the Fragile Ground of Transformation
    (pp. 123-152)

    The policing of township communities has always been central to the governance of the urban poor in Cape Town and is therefore central to understanding how the insecurity of the periphery is reproduced. The following chapter thus examines some of the consequences of hard policing for the fight against crime and gangs and for township communities. Proponents of the law enforcement approach have an almost singular focus on crime rates, and this is where the discussion here begins. Crime rates, however, are only one aspect of the security equation; at least as important are the immediate and long-term effects of...

  11. 5 The Production of Criminality on the Urban Periphery
    (pp. 153-179)

    Throughout the townships, the policing of crime and gangsterism contributes to multiple insecurities for residents, working against the very development agenda it is meant to anchor. The previous two chapters attempted to show exactly why this form of security governance has survived the transition from apartheid to neoliberalism, how it produces insecurity, and the consequences for communities and the broader urban renewal agenda. In this final chapter we turn to the other piece of the governance equation, the relationship of the local neoliberal state to underdevelopment. Here, too, security and the police often figure prominently, although the lack of development...

  12. Conclusion: Apartheid, Democracy, and the Urban Future
    (pp. 180-196)

    Policing and urban renewal in Cape Town today are part of a lineage of governance strategies bound up with unresolved social tensions that have evolved over decades. These tensions have produced the social and spatial terrain with which now confront us. They run beneath this divided city, holding it together while always threatening to tear it further apart. What I have attempted to show here are some of the mechanisms through which these tensions are reproduced. To do so, I have argued that neoliberalism plays a central and defining role in the organization of urban governance while trying to avoid...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 197-226)
  14. Index
    (pp. 227-238)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 239-239)