Western Cape govt likely to ask for extension on SANDF deployment

The army started rolling into 10 of the worst gang-plagued neighbourhoods on the Cape Flats seven weeks ago.

SANDF soldiers on patrol in Hanover Park. The military has released their soldiers to help stabilise gang hot-spots, while law enforcement agencies conducted raids in the area. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Premier of the Western Cape says it’s likely he will formally request an extension to the SANDF deployment.

The army started rolling into 10 of the worst gang-plagued neighbourhoods on the Cape Flats seven weeks ago.

Their presence has been met with mixed reaction from people living in those communities with growing concern in many neighbourhoods that the deployment isn't stopping the bloodshed.

The army’s presence is meant to help police stabilise crime levels and make headway on violent crime. But the mandate expires in 16 days’ time and gang shootings continue.

Premier Alan Winde said he was waiting on an analysis document which would inform his decision on the extension.

“We are busy with a document. Albert Fritz and his department are putting it together.”

Winde added he’d like to see changes in the way SANDF works after the extension.

“I want to see more blitzes. I think they need to start trying different things.”

Should Winde make the request for an extension, it’ll be up to the defence minister to indicate whether the army has the capacity to stay. President Cyril Ramaphosa, as commander-in-chief of the South African armed forces, will also need to sign off on the order.