Premier Alan Winde requests SANDF deployment extension in Western Cape - but with conditions

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has requested the deployment of SANDF troops in the gang-infested communities around Cape Town be extended.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has requested the deployment of SANDF troops in the gang-infested communities around Cape Town be extended.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has requested an extension of the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in gang-infested communities in the province.

Wind said a request to this effect had been sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Defence Minister Nosiviwe-Mapisa Nqakula.

He said the army deployment should be extended on the condition that certain shortcomings of the original deployment be urgently addressed to improve the results that have been recorded so far.

“The SANDF has played a key role in Operation Lockdown so far, particularly in providing support to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other law enforcement agencies, however, we have seen very little in the way of a decrease in violent crime,” said Winde.

He said it was clear that the SAPS did not have the resources to do this alone, and there was still a massive hill to climb before gang violence was contained

Winde requested that the army continue its deployment in the Western Cape for a further period of at least six months to reach a point of stabilisation.

Some of the army’s extended deployment conditions detailed by Winde included:

  • Clear indicators of success and measurement tools need to be put in place to track the impact the deployment was having.
  • A blended strategy which allowed for a better combination of law enforcement, community mobilisation and social services interventions to targeted groups.
  • A co-ordinated response from local, provincial and national government.
  • A problem-oriented approach where specific crime types were analysed and law enforcement responses were customised to areas, based on needs and requirements.
  • Criminal and/or violent groupings must be given clear messages that they are under scrutiny and that any violence, or acts triggering violence, would receive special attention and increased enforcement.

“We are still seeing unacceptably high levels of murder, attempted murder and other violent crime which needs to be urgently addressed,” Winde said.

Winde said the army deployment extension is to ensure that the scourge of crime in the communities came to an end.

“We need to make every effort and use every avenue at our disposal to root out criminals and make our communities safe,” Winde said.

TimesLIVE reported that the SANDF began deploying troops in parts of Cape Town on July 18 with the aim of reducing gang violence which claimed dozens of lives every week.

The deployment is reportedly due to continue until September 16 at a cost of R23m.