Gangs in the Cape Flats started to appear in the 1966, when the District Six and other zones situated in the center of the town, were declared a “whites-only” areas, due to the apartheid regime.
Coloured people living in those areas were forced to move to the Cape Flats after their houses had been destroyed.
Double and three storey flats, overcrowding, poverty, high crime rates, drugs and alchol abuse are some of the elements that started to charaterize these communities.
Beacuse of the poverty many young people join the gangs by the attraction of money and power, and many times also for protection.
Innocent men, women and children have knowingly or not become entangled with gangsters, most have suffered dearly as a result. Many still bear the scars of their involvment.
Countless others have lost their lives, usually in a savage manner and sometimes caught in a crossfire.
Each area could have more than one gang, then the area becomes divided into territories.
The gangs fight happen over the control of those territories and for the drug sale.
Sometimes youth who are friends at school, are enemies outside because of the gangs, of the territory were they are living.
The gangs operate like well organized institutions. They consist of lower and upper structures governed by strict codes of conduct and gang rules. Breaking any of the rules or the code of conduct, could mean death.
Gangsterism between coloured people is considered as a culture, so strongly rooted inside these communities.
Photo essay by Gianmarco Panucci
Support from our readers helps improve visibility, encourage exchanges, create new opportunities for photographers and writers around the globe, so if you value what we do, please support PRIVATEphotoreview today. Thank you.