Cops alone to cope with Western Cape gang violence
President Jacob Zuma will not deploy soldiers to areas affected by gang violence in Western Cape, the Presidency said
CAPTION: MEAN STREETS: Schoolchildren pass the razor-wire barricaded home of a millionaire gang leader in the Cape Flats, March 15, 2001. (AP Photo/Obed Zilwa)
"The president has opted for more intensive action by the police and long-term interventions by social and economic clusters of government," his spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said.
In July Western Cape Premier Helen Zille asked Zuma to send troops to curtail gang violence. At the time at least 23 people had been killed in the province in six weeks.
Seventeen of them were killed in Cape Town's Lavender Hill and Hanover Park areas.
Maharaj said the ministers of police and defence had briefed Zuma on the situation.
A team comprising staff from both departments went to the suburbs to make an assessment.
The briefing from the two ministers indicated that a long-term and multi-disciplinary approach was needed.
Maharaj said: "The SAPS has the necessary capacity to deal with the situation in these areas. The situation does not require the deployment of members of the SANDF."
Maharaj said socio-economic conditions in the suburbs needed to be addressed.
Police would improve their intelligence-gathering and visibility in the areas, and form partnerships with government departments and non-government bodies.
Maharaj said the government's response would extend to Manenberg, Elsies River and Nyanga.