We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Cape Town after Apartheid

Crime and Governance in the Divided City

Tony Roshan Samara

Publication Year: 2011

Nearly two decades after the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, how different does the nation look? In Cape Town, is hardening inequality under conditions of neoliberal globalization actually reproducing the repressive governance of the apartheid era? By exploring issues of urban security and development, Tony Roshan Samara brings to light the features of urban apartheid that increasingly mark not only Cape Town but also the global cities of our day—cities as diverse as Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, and Beijing.

Cape Town after Apartheid focuses on urban renewal and urban security policies and practices in the city center and townships as this aspiring world-class city actively pursues a neoliberal approach to development. The city’s attempt to escape its past is, however, constrained by crippling inequalities, racial and ethnic tensions, political turmoil, and persistent insecurity. Samara shows how governance in Cape Town remains rooted in the perceived need to control dangerous populations and protect a somewhat fragile and unpopular economic system. In urban areas around the world, where the affluent minority and poor majority live in relative proximity to each other, aggressive security practices and strict governance reflect and reproduce the divided city.

A critical case for understanding a transnational view of urban governance, especially in highly unequal, majority-poor cities, this 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.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.0 KB)
pp. iii-iv


pdf iconDownload PDF (44.3 KB)
p. v-v

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (29.5 KB)
pp. vii-viii

The following work received support from many people over the years, and if not for some of them it likely never would have been completed. Avery Gordon, my mentor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, was instrumental in helping me to formulate the project in its early stages, and, although it has changed much since then, I still see her influence ...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

pdf iconDownload PDF (29.1 KB)
pp. ix-x

Map of Cape Town

pdf iconDownload PDF (216.6 KB)
p. xi-xi

read more

Introduction: Urban Geopolitics, Neoliberalism, and the Governance of Security

pdf iconDownload PDF (150.4 KB)
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 ...

read more

1. Security and Development in Postapartheid South Africa

pdf iconDownload PDF (239.6 KB)
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 ...

read more

2. Children in the Streets: Urban Governance in Cape Town City Center

pdf iconDownload PDF (439.7 KB)
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 ...

read more

3. Gangsterism and the Policing of the Cape Flats

pdf iconDownload PDF (350.8 KB)
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 ...

read more

4. The Weight of Policing on the Fragile Ground of Transformation

pdf iconDownload PDF (371.2 KB)
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 ...

read more

5. The Production of Criminality on the Urban Periphery

pdf iconDownload PDF (335.1 KB)
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 ...

read more

Conclusion: Apartheid, Democracy, and the Urban Future

pdf iconDownload PDF (124.4 KB)
pp. 180-195

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 ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (218.5 KB)
pp. 197-226


pdf iconDownload PDF (574.1 KB)
pp. 227-238

E-ISBN-13: 9780816676842
E-ISBN-10: 0816676844
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816670017

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2011