chapter
4 Pages

Prologue

This chapter tracks the rise of the term 'community' from the mid-1970s in state discourse about crime and situate it within the turn towards neoliberalism and the embracing of the 'criminologies of everyday life', such as situational crime prevention. Together with a shift towards constitutionalism and human rights, the idea of 'community' was utilized extensively in government policy documents during the negotiations about how to transition towards democracy. The turn to community was justified as a cost-cutting measure and as a cure for a deficient criminal justice system. The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) embraced an eclectic range of approaches to deal with crime in South Africa, including situational crime prevention, social crime prevention, restorative justice and corporatism. In doing so it amalgamated the amoral rational choice individual of situational crime prevention, who weighs up the costs, benefits and commits a crime only when the benefits outweigh the costs, with the construction of a moral post-apartheid quintessential South African.