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No troops to fight gang warfare in Cape Town

President Jacob Zuma has taken a decision not to deploy troops to parts of Cape Town affected by gang activity at this stage.

Instead, the President has opted for more intensive action by the police and long-term interventions by social and economic clusters of government, the Presidency says.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille had asked Zuma to deploy troops in light of brazen criminality by gangs.

The President was briefed by the Ministers of Police and Defence and Military Veterans regarding the situation in Cape Town suburbs of Hanover Park and Lavender Hill.

A joint task team comprising personnel from police and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans was sent to the two suburbs to assess the situation.

The Presidency said the briefing from the two ministers highlighted that:

· The situation in these areas required a long term and multi-disciplinary approach.

· The South African Police Service (SAPS) has the necessary capacity to deal with the situation in these areas.

· The situation does not require the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force.

· There are socio-economic conditions which need to be addressed in these areas.

SAPS has adopted a strategy to deal with the current situation that includes:

• Increased capacity to gather intelligence information in these areas;

• Increased police capacity and visibility in these areas;

• Increased community mobilisation and interaction;

• Partnerships and co-operation with government departments and NGOs.

Government’s response will extend to the areas of Manneberg, Elsies Rivier and Nyanga where gang activity was also prevalent.

Zuma has also directed ministers in the social and economic sectors to study the situation and to look for long term solutions that promote sustainable development and stable communities.

The President will monitor the situation to ascertain success of the initiatives and further decisions will be taken if necessary, the Presidency added. – SAnews.gov.za

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