Newly appointed National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole, says more than 94 000 people were arrested in the Western Cape alone since the beginning of the festive period for various offences.

Sitole visited the province as part of the Back to Basics Safer Festive Season Operation to ensure a safer summer holiday-time.

He says 11 000 additional police members have been deployed across the country as part of the safety operation.  Its aim is to ensure the public that they can enjoy a safe festive season.

Sitole says more than 30 hotspots have been identified in the country where extra police officials will be deployed over the New Year’s weekend.

“In the Western Cape we will be deploying more members, Special Forces to make sure that there are no gang violence to endanger the lives of people, we got various hotspots around the country, and we will intensify deployments there because we want the community to enjoy the festive season.”

The commissioner also visited the Bellville Taxi Rank where he interacted with minibus taxi drivers and commuters informing them about the operation.  But some drivers raised concern about the afternoon police operation and he had to answer tough questions about promises made by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.

WATCH: SAPS Commissioner Gen Sitole’s visit to the Bellville Taxi Rank


Earlier in the day, Sitole also visited Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State provinces.  In Bloemfontein, he attended a road block and vehicle checkpoint outside Botshabelo.

The operation, in partnership with provincial traffic, forms part of the SAPS Festive Season High Density Operation.

Hundreds of vehicles were checked for road worthiness and licensing. The police impounded an unlicensed bakkie and motorbike.

Sitole requested road users to be vigilant during the festive season.  “We are here to stamp the authority of the state and to make sure that criminals don’t get a chance to disrupt our communities from enjoying the festive season.”

Lieutenant-General Sitole is expected to visit the Eastern Cape on Saturday.