The chairperson of the Western Cape Community Policing Forum (CPF) says in the absence of an alternative solution, the deployment of the army to parts of the Cape Flats is "better than nothing".
On Thursday Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that troops from South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would be deployed to 10 gang-ridden precincts in the Western Cape.
The primary responsibility of fighting crime should be that of the SAPS...but for us, it is better than not having anything in place.— Fransina Lukas, Chairperson - Western Cape CPF
It should not be normal for us to have an army in our community.— Fransina Lukas, Chairperson - Western Cape CPF
Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has welcomed the deployment of the army but says underlying economic challenges must be dealt with.
Winde has been a vocal advocate for bringing in a stabilisation force to help police in troubled areas.
Of the 150 police stations in our province, those 10 alone are responsible for 50% of murders in our province.— Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
You just have to walk the streets and ask people and they say: "Please bring in the army."— Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Winde says it's important to remember that the role of the army is to stabilise, not to police.
On Saturday officials, including Winde and Cele will meet in Paarl to talk about a way forward.
Three months is a very short time...the army will leave and we can't just allow, like in Lavender Hill, who had the army there, to stabilise for a while and then it just goes back again.— Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Listen as Premier Alan Winde talks about the deployment of the army to parts of the Cape Flats: