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Cape Town after Apartheid

Crime and Governance in the Divided City

2011
Author:

Tony Roshan Samara

Cape Town after Apartheid

Reveals how liberal democracy and free-market economics reproduce the inequalities of apartheid in Cape Town, South Africa

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.

Cape Town after Apartheid is a major contribution to the field of urban studies and criminal justice. It provides a framework for understanding gangs, violence, and neoliberal crime policies, emphasizing how security policies are rooted both in neoliberalism and apartheid-era policy and how they serve to strengthen gangs and fail to stem violence.

John Hagedorn, author of A World of Gangs

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.

Cape Town after Apartheid

Tony Roshan Samara is Senior Program Director of Land Use and Housing for Urban Habitat in Oakland, CA. He is a former associate professor of sociology at George Mason University.

Cape Town after Apartheid

Cape Town after Apartheid is a major contribution to the field of urban studies and criminal justice. It provides a framework for understanding gangs, violence, and neoliberal crime policies, emphasizing how security policies are rooted both in neoliberalism and apartheid-era policy and how they serve to strengthen gangs and fail to stem violence.

John Hagedorn, author of A World of Gangs

Samara’s book masterfully connects the dots between local segregation in South Africa and what he calls the ‘transnational network of neoliberal urban governance.’ Samara’s brilliant treatment of crime, ‘terrorism,’ and gang violence also reminds us of the profound social degradation that the next struggle for genuine emancipation must confront.

Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society

Those interested in matters of crime and governance would do well to treat Samara’s contribution with the seriousness it deserves.

African Affairs

This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in the governance of crime in South Africa and also for those who work in the field of neoliberalism and its impact on urban governance.

Gail Super, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

The major contribution of this book is the combination of the already strong local literature and data on crime and social control with the author’s own considerable field experience in Cape Town in a way that speaks to broader debates on the trajectories of the contemporary global city. Samara’s indictment of the failed and half-hearted policies towards youth development and deviance in Cape Town should be interesting for scholars seeking to untangle a diverse range of intergenerational problems in contemporary cities, from the recent riots in London to longstanding patterns of gang violence on the United States west coast.

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Cape Town after Apartheid

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
Map of Cape Town
Introduction: Urban Geopolitics, Neoliberalism, and the Governance of Security
1. Security and Development in Post-Apartheid South Africa
2. Children in the Streets: Urban Governance in Cape Town City Center
3. Gangsterism and the Policing of the Cape Flats
4. The Weight of Policing on the Fragile Ground of Transformation
5. The Production of Criminality on the Urban Periphery
Conclusion: Apartheid, Democracy and the Urban Future
Notes
Index

Cape Town after Apartheid

UMP blog - Almost two decades after the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, the country still faces a lot of challenges.

Recent news out of South Africa that the rainbow nation received the lowest possible rating for its response to xenophobia should not come as a surprise. Since the outbreak of violence against foreigners in the urban peripheries three years ago, the government has shown little commitment to addressing the underlying tensions that generated it. More broadly, the violence marked only one aspect of a failure of governance that has come to define the state in relation to the country’s townships since the end of apartheid almost two decades ago.

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