Police operation underway in Manenberg

Several people have been arrested as police try to restore order in gang-ridden Manenberg.

Manenberg Police Station. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police officials say they have increased their visibility in Manenberg following last week's closure of schools due to ongoing gang violence.

South African Police Service (SAPS) officials are conducting a crime operation in the area with at least 150 officers patrolling gang hot spots.

Manenberg Police Chief Andre van Dyk says the temporary closure of 14 schools in the area has forced the SAPS to increase visibility.

Metro police, law enforcement officers and traffic officers are patrolling specific streets that have been plagued by gang violence.

Van Dyk says the operation also involves the deployment of three law enforcement officers to the affected schools which had been closed.

He says officers are also patrolling streets which pupils use to walk to schools.

Police have also raided several houses and several people have been arrested.

Many Manenberg residents have welcomed the extra visibility but have questioned the sustainability of the project.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has announced its decision to spend R6 million to fight gang violence.

The money comes from the education budget.

Zille has also accused the national police ministry of not giving her enough support.

Zille will meet with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to discuss the spike in gang violence on Thursday.

Over 30 people, including children, have been killed in gang violence throughout the city in recent months.