Parliament's portfolio committee on police received a briefing from the SA police on the implementation of the anti-gang strategy and roll-out of Anti-Gang Units. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Parliament's portfolio committee on police received a briefing from the SA police on the implementation of the anti-gang strategy and the roll-out of units on Tuesday.

In discussing the effectiveness of the anti-gang strategy, the committee invited civil society groups and community leaders from four different provinces, Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Free State, to give their testimony on their experiences and concerns about law enforcement in gang-infested areas.

Police bosses present included Police Minister Bheki Cele, National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole and Provincial Commissioner: Western Cape Khombinkosi Jula, Major General Leon Rabie.

On their presentation, Rabie said the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng have been identified in respect of gang activity hotspots. He said conventional methods of policing have then been found not to work and Specialised units had to be established.

Among the invited were the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), United Public Safety Front, Community based organisations and CPFs.

Parliament's portfolio committee on police received a briefing from the SA police on the implementation of the anti-gang strategy and roll-out of Anti-Gang Units. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Cosatu deputy Parliamentary Coordinator, Tony Ehrenreich said gangs are growing exponentially and are no longer limited to just drugs and violent crime in certain communities.

"They are rapidly growing into well organised criminal syndicates, expanding into new economic sectors and taking over countless communities," Ehrenreich said.

He said the government has largely failed to halt this crisis. 

"It threatens the collapse of the government in many communities. If we want to make progress as a nation and to avoid following the route of some failed states, then a joint concerted and serious action between government, community, business is urgently needed," Ehrenreich said.

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Cape Argus