Issue No 20
EDITOR'S NOTEA SOCIETY GONE AWRY
COVER STORYGANG CULTURE
SPECIAL FEATUREGUN CRIMESOUTH AFRICAN CRICKET
GREEN ACTIONURBAN GREEN SPACES
NEWS ARENAALBINISM IN AFRICAPHOTO SPREADCAPE TOWN IN PHOTOS
PHOTO SPREADCAPE TOWN IN PHOTOS
SPOTLIGHTCHILDREN'S RADIO FOUNDATIONSTERILISATION IN ACTIONVOLUNTEER WILDFIRE SERVICE
ART & CULTUREA DAY IN THE LIFE OF...STREET ART IN CAPE TOWNZANELE MUHOLI
FACES & PLACESSCOTLAND
Words: Scott Roder
The Hard Livings, The Clever Kids, Thug Life, The Americans and The Junky Funky Kids... the list goes on. These names, as infamous as they are comical, have become ingrained in the vocabulary of almost every Capetonian, regardless of social economic status, colour or creed. It is no wonder this pernicious integration has occurred; with over 130 gangs in the Cape Flats area alone and membership in the hundreds of thousands, the effect of gang culture pervades the lives of many. Whether picking up the remote and turning on the news, or taking a drive through a township area, evidence of gang life – in the form of audacious daylight drug deals, colourful gang graffiti dominating the quaint walls of un-kempt, and kempt houses alike, along with the frequent punctuation of gunfire on otherwise tranquil summer days – is all too prevalent in the communities of the Cape Flats.
So what is it that causes this social scourge? Is it poor parenting? Perhaps lack of social programmes and education? Or maybe it’s the glorification of the gang life in contemporary rap music that we are accustomed to? The reason and perpetuity behind gangs is a conglomerate of infinitely complex social and economic issues. We can however, begin our search in the birthplace of many of Cape Town’s most notorious gangs. Known as ‘the dumping ground of apartheid’ the Cape Flats has, right from the start, created the perfect climate of discontent and contempt, both values inherent in gangs. This is no surprise considering any resemblance of a cohesive family unit was generally destroyed by the previous government’s relocation scheme. Couple this with an extreme lack of opportunity, and you have – very understandably – derisive young people who, in many cases, were made to feel they were inferior.
Words: Sally Gower
There are approximately 5.9 million privately owned firearms estimated to be in South Africa. There are about 1.8 million licensed gun owners in South Africa, which leaves over 4 million firearms unaccounted for in the country. Figures released by the National Police state that approximately 45% of homicides in South Africa are by firearms. Figures from gunpolicy.org also show that since 1994 (the end of apartheid), the number of homicides by firearms in South Africa has decreased from 11,134 in 1994, to 8,319 in 2007, and that number is still decreasing.
In January, Barack Obama unveiled the staunchest gun control for the last two decades. The proposals for new legislation came as a result of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and seven adults dead. Surrounded by children who had written letters to him after the Newtown shooting, the US President revealed his plans to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Furthermore, he called for wider background checks on those purchasing guns.
Words: David Birch
Between the years of 1970 and 1991 South Africa was banned from participating in international cricket as a result of the apartheid regime. Today they sit proudly on top of the world Test rankings, with a world class team composed of different races, religions and cultures; furthermore, cricket is now the only sport in South Africa to feature in the top two sports of all ethnic groups. Yet, despite these obvious triumphs, murmurs continue to exist concerning the political aspects of the sport.
Hitting the heightsSouth African cricket has taken a lot of flak in the 22 years since re-admission; be it their open spats over quota systems or their much-publicised role in match-fixing scandals. But in the background things have undoubtedly been progressing, and the year of 2012 could not have highlighted this to a greater extent. The Proteas were the only Test nation in the world with a 100% success-rate, playing their 200th match since re-admission in the process; the team’s first ever South African Muslim representative, Hashim Amla, hit a record-breaking 311 not out – and the side was comprised from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, all making significant contributions to the outstanding results achieved. By the end of the year, pundits from around the globe were describing South Africa as the most complete cricket team of the last five years.