Johannesburg - Gauteng police destroyed thousands of weapons at ArcelorMittal's steel processing plant in Vereeniging on Tuesday.
Deputy provincial police commissioner Major General Phumzo Gela said 3364 firearms and around 1000 knives were melted down.
“The destruction of (the) firearms means that many lives will be saved.”
He said some of the weapons came from police searches. Others had been used to commit crimes, but the cases these originated from had all been finalised.
Once weapons were recovered they were sent for ballistic analysis and other processes before they were destroyed.
The weapons were on display in large sacks. They included rifles, pistols, knives, swords, and axes.
Gela said improved visible policing was having a significant impact in areas like Muldersdrift and Benoni.
He thanked communities for tipping police off about crimes and encouraged them to continue this co-operation.
Gela said Gauteng's metro police and traffic police were also to be commended for reducing crime. He said police would not let up in the fight against crime after the 2012 festive season.
“Please bear with us, we are rolling our sleeves and our socks higher. We are ready for crime and criminality.” - Sapa