Johannesburg - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday assured Hanover Park and Manenberg community members police remained committed to tackling crime and gangsterism in the area. 

Mbalula said this during a visit to the two communities where he launched the South African Police Service's (SAPS) festive season operations. 

He was joined by Western Cape provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula. 

Mbalula in a statement reaffirmed the ministry's commitment to tackling crime in both areas. 

“I have been with the people in Western Cape for a while now. I visited several communities and they all share a common concern over gangsterism, drugs and alcohol abuse. People are unable to walk to school and to shops. Their freedom is being threatened by criminals who are rogue and ruthless and this is our fight. 

"We will continue to support the SAPS in their efforts to fight crime. I will continue to maintain presence in the Cape Flats and constantly visit our people to interact and listen to their concerns,” he said. 

Friday's operations saw police make numerous arrests, including the arrest of five suspects found in possession of drugs, one suspect for murdert, one for house robbery and three wanted suspects for various crimes. 

Additionally, police visited schools, tested vehicles and private premises following leads by community members. 

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula during his visit to Hanover Park and Manenberg. Video: Sandisiwe Ntlemeza.

“More work needs to be done in Cape Town communities. This is not the end of it as we will continue to increase police visibility and add resources where they are needed,” Mbalula said.

He also spoke out on the deployment of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) to areas affected by gangsterism.

Mbalula had earlier confirmed he had requested the army's support in combating crime in "two of the most crime stubborn provinces", Gauteng and the Western Cape.

“We requested the SANDF to be deployed at the crime hotspots. They won’t be working alone but with SAPS to amplify our work. This request is informed by material conditions in these areas,” the minister told residents. 

“As government, we need to do everything in our power to save the people in these inhabitable areas. Our young people are unemployed and their communities are captured by gangsterism. We need to do everything in our power that they don’t fall on the same trap of criminality."