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First SANDF troops roll into Manenberg

It’s by no means the mass deployment some may have imagined, but it’s a start for the gang-plagued neighbourhood of Manenberg.

SANDF troops arrive in Manenberg, Cape Town on 18 July 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A week after Police Minister Bheki Cele promised boots on the ground in gang-plagued areas on the Cape Flats, the first SANDF personnel carriers have rolled into Manenberg.

Last week, Cele indicated the army would be sent in within hours of his announcement. But it’s only now that the first signs of the deployment have become apparent.

It’s by no means the mass deployment some may have imagined, but it’s a start for the gang-plagued neighbourhood of Manenberg. Several army vehicles and troops rolled into the area on Thursday afternoon.

They are now standing on the street corners, moving block by block, as police officers conduct operations.

At the sight of the army, some residents came out of their homes to watch them work, while others are standing behind burglar gates.

Community policing forum chairperson Kadar Jacobs says the residents have been waiting for this for a long time.

Cele identified 10 key areas where the army's deployment could help police, including Manenberg, Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain and Nyanga.