From Urban Street Gangs to Criminal Empires: The Changing Face of Gangs in the Western Cape

"This monograph examines the changing patterns of gangs across the Western Cape during the past few years. It sketches patterns of development in the organisation of crime with particular reference to the major street gangs in the Western Cape. It is not uncommon for people living in remote areas of the country to have heard of Western Cape street gangs such as the Americans, the Hard Livings, the Sexy Boys, the School Boys and the Junky Funky Kids. This is largely due to the fact that these gangs have managed to capture the attention of the media through their actions. Identification with American gangsters through popular culture characterises even the most docile of communities in rural and urban areas of the country. The growth of the gang subculture is a result of a combination of various factors which include social factors such as unemployment and poverty, its deep rooted nature in the Western Cape, cultural persuasions and the globalisation of gang culture."