Writer-director Ralph Ziman learned how a gang had stolen a whole building in Hillbrow in Johannesburg through coercion. He began researching the phenomenon by interviewing reporters, police officers, social workers and lawyers, only to discover that the practice is highly commonplace in South Africa.
A mixture of languages can be heard throughout the movie. Much of what the main characters speak to each other is township slang known as Tsotsitaal (literally 'gangster language') which is composed of vocabulary from Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, English, other African languages and invented slang. It is generally associated with young township-dwelling men, though some terms have entered mainstream South African parlance.