Cape Town's Underworld Mapping a Protection Racket in the Central Business District

This paper discusses the characteristics of the structure, actors involved and the types of interactions and institutional effects of a criminal network. In this case study it is focused on security racketeering in Cape Town, South Africa. The analysis is based on data gathered from various sources, predominately media articles covering the period between 2010 and November 2013, and was developed by applying specific protocols of social network analysis. Social Network Analysis (SNA)is increasingly used as an analytical tool across disciplines to study the interactions of people and/or institutions. It can be used to illustrate how people and/or institutions interact over a period of time and focuses on fluid interactions without becoming stuck in theoretical classifications. Methodology SNA is a more sophisticated method of illustrating and analysing the interactions of actors rather than just linking them or placing them within a hierarchy. A set of mathematical measures is used that can demonstrate the proximity of varied individuals and illustrate how they are linked using a set of mathematical techniques to create ‘neat’, observable images. This study uses a second-generation mapping technology developed by Scientific Vortex Incorporated. The software (Vortex Relationship System) creates a database of both nodes (actors) and edges (interactions) that are retrievable online. In this online database information and descriptions added to the system on all the actors involved are accessible, as is information on their interactions.