Western Cape Premier Helen Zille wants top cops to explain where police are being deployed on the gang-ridden Cape Flats.
Manenberg residents complained about the decline of visible policing during the gang violence that started on March 31, where at least 16 people have been killed.
Zille says in a statement: “Manenberg residents say they are not feeling the presence of the police, and we take this perception very seriously.
“We understand that many arrests have been made over the last two weeks, but we are concerned that SAPS do not have what it takes to combat the violence in Manenberg.”
She says she especially needed clarity on the status of the anti-gang unit, Operation Combat.
“We want clarity on how Operation Combat was reportedly disbanded, and then reinstated within a single week.
“Manenberg residents also report a decline in Tactical Unit officers within the community.”
Zille said the under-resourcing of police in the Cape is a “national disgrace”.
“Residents are living under terror. There are brave police officers actively combating gang violence, but they are risking their lives without any high level support.
“The lack of policing resources is an act of sabotage that is costing lives.”
According to figures provided to her office, Manenberg has a police/resident ratio of 504 people to one officer.
Neighbouring precincts are worse off, as the ratio is 777 residents to one cop.
The national average is 358:1.