n Institute for Security Studies Papers - The illegal abalone trade in the Western Cape

Volume 2014, Issue 261
  • ISSN : 1026-0404



This case study provides the context in which the abalone trade in South Africa occurs, describes the various stages of the trade and analyses the impact of the illegal trade on governance. The community of Hout Bay was chosen as it appears to typify the trade across the Western Cape. The report concludes that criminal governance in the abalone trade takes various forms. These include the marginalised turning to the informal economy; both abalone wholesalers and gangsters developing a level of power over a region that renders them parallel sources of authority; the corruption and co-opting of state officials; and, arguably, the state's reliance on the seizure of poached abalone.

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