Persistence of Youth Gang Violence in South Africa

Godfrey Maringira, Tyanai Masiya


In South Africa, gang violence continues unabated particularly in black and coloured
townships. The question addressed in this paper is why youth continue to be involved in
gang violence despite South Africa being deemed the most developed African country.
The response to this question goes just beyond economic reasons and includes young
men and the expression of their masculine power. In this paper we reveal the ways in
which young men continue to be involved in gang violence and their consequences. The
paper is based on an ethnographic study from 2017 to 2018. It draws on two black
townships of Gugulethu and Nyanga East in Cape Town South Africa.

Keywords: South Africa, Gang, Youth, Violence, Masculinity

Godfrey Maringira, Senior Postdoctoral, University of Western Cape, Email:

Tyanai Masiya, Lecturer, University of Pretoria, Email:

Full Text:



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