Safe Shebeens

SLF collaborated with 23 shebeen owners in the informal settlement of Sweet Home Farm, Cape Town, to co-produce strategies for making shebeens safer social spaces. The participatory research process built upon existing and community recognised safety solutions that included infrastructure, social arrangements, business practices and community mobilisation. The project worked with the shebeeners to formulate a series of ‘house rules’ for each business, with the rules translated into safety sign designs. Safe sheeben strategies were then nuanced and rolled-out in 16 venues.

The Safe Shebeen project had an important impact on shifting understanding around the ‘shebeen problem’. At grassroots level, the strategy reinforced practices within the venues that have a direct impact in reducing the risks of crime and violence. The research has informed further sociological and economic research and policy engagement about unregulated liquor retailing, youth drinking and business informality.

Location:Sweet Home Farm (Cape Town)Duration:2014-2015Partners:Distell, Urban Works