Business robbery, the foreign trader and the small shop: How business robberies affect Somali traders in the Western Cape

A journal article by Dr Vanya Gastrow

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in business robberies in the Western Cape. Most of these robberies affect informal traders in low-income township neighbourhoods. Foreign nationals in these areas appear to be especially vulnerable to such crime. This article focuses on the robbery experiences of Somali traders in Western Cape townships. It highlights the difficulties they face in accessing formal and informal justice in the aftermath of crime, and how criminals’ relative impunity leaves Somali shops more vulnerable to attack. It concludes that cross-sectoral efforts are required to tackle the broad social and institutional challenges in addressing business robberies in the province.

Gastrow, V. 2013. Business robbery, the foreign trader and the small shop: How business robberies affect Somali traders in the Western Cape. South African Crime Quarterly 43, 5-15.


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