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SANDF deployment in CT likely won't be a costly project - analyst

Last week, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the SANDF would be deployed to gang-ravaged communities, following on-going requests by community policing forums.

SAI troops patrol areas of Port St Johns town during rehearsals for urban combat in the DRC, prior to deployment. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A military and defence analyst said that sending in the army into some of Cape Town's most dangerous areas will not be a costly project.

Last week, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the SANDF would be deployed to gang-ravaged communities, following on-going requests by community policing forums.

It's not yet clear when exactly troops would hit the ground, as Cele said that they're still going through orientation programmes.

Helmoed Heitman from Jane's Defence Weekly said that the deployment was likely not to be an expensive exercise.

"The troops are being paid anyway, so it's just the cost of transporting them there, feeding them there as opposed and the deployment. We're talking a few million not hundreds of millions. It's not going to be a massive amount.

Heitman said the issue of the SANDF being under-resourced would be a problem.

"The army is already under-strength with what it is supposed to be doing - it's supposed to be in the Congo, it's supposed to be patrolling the borders but it doesn't have enough infantry to do even those two things effectively. So now we're taking them out of the system for this, which is probably why it limited to the time. One additional cost might be calling up the reservists to take the place of these troops from where they were going to be instead of Cape Town."

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