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Cape Town prepares for army to leave gang-ridden areas

In July 2019 the army was deployed to 10 gang-ridden areas including Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga and Delft as part of Operation Lockdown.

FILE: The SANDF arrived in Manenberg on 18 July 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN – With the South African National Defence Force deployment coming to an end this month, Western Cape Premier Premier Alan Winde hopes Cape Town can return to normal.

The army was deployed to 10 gang-ridden areas including Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga and Delft as part of Operation Lockdown.

In September last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that their deployment would be extended until the 31 March.

The original deployment was in July for two months.

Winde said there could not be a permanent deployment of soldiers and accepted that the SANDF would be leaving at the end of the month.

Winde said between last year and now there were more than 1,500 extra police officers deployed by the SAPS.

He added that the Western Cape government recently deployed 500 extra law enforcement officers and another 500 would be deployed in June.

“We want to start spending a lot more time on the normalisation of society, that’s really a big focus of our safety plan.”

Winde said they would look at the analysis this week.

“So far what I’ve seen is there has definitely been a reduction in murders in the areas they have focused on. Not a major reduction as we do know this is a not a quick fix. This thing will take time.”

He said other interventions would soon get underway in various departments and would include youth development, job creation and tourism safety.