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Umtata: A Clearing House for Delinquents in South Africa (From Youth, Street Culture and Urban Violence in Africa, P 215-242, 1997, Georges Herault and Pius Adesanmi, eds.)

NCJ Number
Eghosa E. Osaghae
Date Published
28 pages
This study focuses on street youth in South Africa, a disturbing phenomenon that may have serious consequences for the future of urban areas in particular and for the social progress of the country in general.
The study looks at the case of Umtata, capital of the former independent homeland of Transkei and the hub of urbanization processes in the predominantly rural region. Background and situational factors that have contributed to the problem of street youth are examined, as well as the nature of the street youth problem and its actual and potential relationship with criminal and urban violence. Efforts to deal with the street youth problem by government and non-government agencies are critically assessed. The author recommends an approach that involves street children themselves in a participatory bottom-up rather than a non-participatory top-down solution. Implications and consequences of the street youth problem are discussed, with emphasis on factors contributing to crime and violence and adverse conditions under which street youth live. Specific characteristics of street youth are detailed with respect to age, race, gender, education, family situation, and street life and subculture. 55 references, 13 footnotes, and 3 tables