Parliamentary committees on security and defence are satisfied with the deployment of the SANDF to the Cape Flats, after conducting an oversight visit. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - The Joint Standing Committee on Defence and the Select Committee on Security and Justice on Thursday conducted an oversight visit to the Cape Flats, to ascertain, the efficacy of the deployment of the army in support of the police.

Mava Lukani from the Parliamentary Communication Services said the committees were satisfied with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Operation Prosper and South African Police Service (SAPS) Operation Lockdown, and its provision of stability to many of the communities across the Cape Flats, where SANDF was deployed.

“The committees were informed that there are daily deployments in the 10 priority areas and deployments are now focused on the cluster-level priority police stations,” Lukani said.

He said the joint operations of the police and SANDF have seen vehicle check points, cordon and search operations. “The SANDF has assisted through roadblocks, joint foot patrols, joint air patrols, air trooping and covert intelligence gathering,” Lukani said.

Parliament was represented by three portfolio committees and one select committee, and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence also joined the oversight visit.

The committees visited three police stations - Lentegeur in Mitchells Plain, Nyanga and Delft .

Lukani said challenges ranged from effective intelligence gathering to poor communication with affected communities, to speedily respond to developing situations.

“The committees are satisfied that the interim deployment strategy has assisted communities in bringing stability to the areas.

“While the lack of operational security is noted, we believe that the co-operation between the SAPS and the SANDF will continue to yield results for our communities,” he said.

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Tina Joemat-Pettersson has announced that the visit to the Cape Flats was the first step in a new phased approach by Parliament to engage with communities affected by the scourge of crime, and said chairpersons of all the Community Police Forums (CPFs) affected by gang violence will be invited to Parliament for a further engagement.

CPF chairpersons from 10 areas have supported the deployment and have interacted with the committees and presented their concerns about the deployment and the high levels of crime.

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Cape Argus