Gangs in lockdown: Impact of Covid-19 restrictions on gangs in east and southern Africa
The coronavirus pandemic has altered communities and the political economy of states throughout East and southern Africa. Lockdowns in particular have profound social impacts. This study—Gangs in lockdown: Impact of Covid-19 restrictions on gangs in east and southern Africa—from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gangs and illicit economies by using Cape Town, South Africa, as a lens to analyze trends across the East and southern African region.
The study's author Julia Standard draws on in-depth reportage together with interviews across the Cape Flats with gang members, community members and civil-society activists, to chart the first hundred days of lockdown. This case study is integrated with insights from the GI-TOC's network of researchers in Cape Town, other cities in South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania. The report concludes that the lockdowns have brought about significant change in a number of areas, namely how gangs operate economically; the political power they wield over communities; levels of violence and street-level crime; and the relationship between corrupt law enforcement officials and gang members.
A summary of Gangs in lockdown is available here. A timeline: "Cape Town Lockdown Timetime" is available here; and the full report can be downloaded here.
Source: Julia Stanyard, Gangs in lockdown: Impact of Covid-19 restrictions on gangs in east and southern Africa. Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, 28 October 2020, https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Gangs-in-lockdown-Impact-of-Covid-19-restrictions-on-gangs-in-east-and-southern-Africa-GITOC.pdf