Urban Violence and the Textures of Everyday life in Post-apartheid South Africa
There is a great deal of literature on crime and violence in post-apartheid South Africa. This paper examines the prevalence and impact of violence and crime at local level through a case study of two areas in Chatsworth, Westcliff and Bayview, where civic organizations have played an effective role in addressing local problems. They have mostly done so outside of official structures such as Community Policing Forums. The presence of strong individuals, mainly women, has helped the community cope with violence through forms of self-protection such as neighbourhood watches, vigilantism, and gated communities. On the negative side, these measures provide protection to limited segments of society; they may spawn new forms of violence that could undercut long-term violence prevention strategies; and it is also unreasonable to expect local communities with limited resources to fill the void created by state failure.