Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, on Wednesday asked the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to extend deployment of troops in gang-infested communities in and around Cape Town.
Winde, who made this known on Wednesday, said that the request had been sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Defence Minister Nosiviwe-Mapisa Nqakula.
He said that the army deployment should be extended on the condition that certain shortcomings of the original deployment were urgently addressed to improve the results that had been recorded so far.
SANDF has played a key role in anti-gang operations so far, particularly in providing support to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other law enforcement operations.
He, however, said that there had been very little in the way of a decrease in violent crime.
“There is no doubt that the SAPS do not have the resources to do this alone, there is still a massive hill to climb before gang violence was contained.
“Therefore the army should continue its deployment in the Western Cape for a further period of at least six months in order to reach a point of stabilisation.
“We are still seeing unacceptably high levels of murder, attempted murder and other violent crime which needs to be urgently addressed,’’ he added.
Winde noted that the army deployment extension was to ensure that the scourge of crime in the communities stopped, adding: “We need to make every effort and use every avenue at our disposal to root out criminals and make our communities safer.’’
On July 18, the SANDF began deploying troops in parts of Cape Town to help quell rising gang violence which claims dozens of lives every week.
The troops have assisted through roadblocks, joint foot patrols, joint air patrols, air trooping and overt intelligence gathering.
(Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim)