chapter  7
22 Pages

Violent Crime in Johannesburg

ByIngrid Palmary, Janine Rauch, Graeme Simpson

Johannesburg is popularly believed to be the “crime capital” of South Africa.Like all apartheid cities, it was characterized by the intense management of public space focused primarily on regulating the access of black people. This management of the urban space of Johannesburg resulted in the ghettoization of urban townships, dramatic disparities between areas of extreme wealth and intense poverty, and palpable divergences in the quality of services offered (including policing and security services) in black townships as compared to white suburbs. Apartheid urban management and social engineering have had severe consequences throughout Johannesburg’s history, and much of this has played itself out in a dramatic fashion immediately before and during the transition to democracy in the 1990s (Van Onselen, 1982).