Crime Networks and Governance in Cape Town The Quest for Enlightened Responses

The enduring nature of organised crime in Cape Town is explained in this paper. It explores the impact of crime networks on systems and formal structures of governance. It confirms the findings of earlier research that crime networks may be more integrated into the sociopolitical disparities among its inhabitants in terms of income, living conditions and access to services, which in turn influence the way in which the formal systems of governance in the city are perceived. The state cannot exercise its authority in many areas of Cape Town where organised crime wields significant power, has capitalised on economic opportunities, and can manipulate and corrupt the state. Solutions to eradicate organised criminal networks generally do not acknowledge the underlying context that sustains them and also stress stronger policing and repression, while paying insufficient attention to deficiencies in other state capacities. State interventions need to be more holistic, more carefully considered and should acknowledge that much organised crime reflects a dysfunctional society in Cape Town. Without an overarching strategy of reform, organised crime will continue to plague affected communities.