Capitalism creates gangs: iLIVE
Despite the media attention given to gang violence on the Cape Flats, there's little chance that anything tangible will come of it because there aren't any easy solutions to this problem ("'Army must fight gangs'", yesterday).
Vulnerable youths do the dirty work of the big bosses, who live in luxury, isolated from the squalor of the townships . These bosses run big businesses, control senior law enforcement agencies and influence politicians - like the Mafia, which is the third-richest banking group in Italy.
The occasional police raid is no more than a publicity stunt. After things settle down, it is back to business as usual.
Recruiting youngsters into gangs is easy in South Africa because of the high levels of illiteracy and poverty. Most of these youths have little or no chance of being employed because of their low level of education.
These youths are indoctrinated into gangs, whose main aim is to protect their territory and to expand that territory, which leads to gang wars.
In the gangs, youths lose respect for human life. They live by the dictum "kill or be killed".
After a few killings, they become inured to cries for mercy. They use drugs to numb their senses. Many of them die young in shootings.
They are easily replaced because our high teenage pregnancy rate ensures a steady pool of new recruits.
The big bosses live far away from the violence in huge mansions in the suburbs and drive fancy cars.
They employ fancy accountants to launder their money and top legal teams to defend them, and they have the police in their pocket.
The only thing that gives them sleepless nights are underworld bosses more ruthless than they are.
While most of the gangsters in the townships die or are crippled in their 20s, the big bosses rarely live beyond their 40s.
One wonders what the point of all this effort is if death comes so quickly.
Increasing the police force will do little to curtail the rise of gangs in our communities. What will certainly make a difference is if capitalism slams the brakes on its greed.
Businesses must stop retrenching people to make more profit, and society must rethink the principle of "winner takes all".
Unbridled capitalism is probably the single biggest cause of crime because a hungry stomach knows no morals.