Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has welcomes the announcement by Police Minister Bheki Cele that the President has authorised the employment of the SANDF to the worst affected crime areas in the province.
Speaking at a media briefing after he tabled his budget vote in Parliament, Cele said President Cyril Ramaphosa had approved a request for the deployment after he sat down with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
This was part of "extraordinary" measures to be deployed following a bloody weekend in the Mother City's townships where at least 13 people were killed in several shootings in Philippi East over the weekend.
"We are working on the matter of deployment. We have mentioned the places that we'll be sealing them off," Cele said.
Communities and the Western Cape Government have been calling for the army as a peacekeeping and stabilisation force for several years, as crime and gangsterism have spiralled out of control.
Cele has, until recently maintained the deployment of the SANDF to the Cape Flats was not necessary, but after the news was revealed, Winde said that "we are relieved by and welcome this about-turn".
"This a clear admission that the police have lost control of the war on crime, a fact denied by Cele a mere few days ago. Just today, we wrote to Minister Cele and the police management requesting the use of extra ordinary measures, in particular that they invoke Section 13(7) of the SAPS Act which allows for police to cordon off areas and conduct search and seizure operations for a period of 24 hours, without a warrant.
"The SANDF could provide support and assist with holding perimeters and cordons in these exercises so that police can get on with the work of investigating crime and arresting perpetrators," he said.
"We hope this move will bring relief to residents in the Western Cape and stabilise our communities."