The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed to crime-riddled communities in Cape Town Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced Thursday evening towards the end of his budget speech.
Cele said the latest killings, 13 people in 24 hours in Philippi, prompted a meeting with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and they agreed that action was needed.
They then approached President Cyril Ramaphosa for “extra deployment” in the form of the SANDF and the president approved their request.
SANDF soldiers will join the police in a show of force in Cape Town’s gang infested areas, giving effect to government’s pledge that “extraordinary measures” will be taken to stamp out crime and murder, gang-related or otherwise.
Several areas in Cape Town have been ravaged by gang violence in recent months.
These areas include Bonteheuwel, Delft, Hanover Park and Philippi East.
There were seven murders in Delft and two in Hanover Park since last Friday.
Last month, six South African Police Service anti-gang unit members came under attack in Samora Machel informal settlement in Nyanga, Cape Town.
Since the start of the year, close to 2,000 people have been killed in the Western Cape., with most of the murders gang related.
According to the 2017/18 crime figures, the national murder rate increased by almost 7%, which translates to 57 murders a day.
The latest crime statistics show that detectives in Nyanga investigate 308 murders a year on average.
This was 27 more than the previous financial year.
Kraaifontein, also in Cape Town, recorded the biggest jump with a staggering 31% increase in murders.
The stats also show how almost all gang-related murders in South Africa were recorded in the Western Cape.