Police Minister Bheki Cele says there is no need to deploy the army in the gang-infested northern areas of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Cele has been interacting with residents at Booysen’s Park Community Hall.

The Minister has emphasised that he will be keeping an ear to the ground should the need for army deployment arise.

“In Johannesburg, there are no soldiers. Which means it is not necessarily the fact that the work will happen if there are soldiers. So, we’ll assess and find the reason, but the call I hear to check and assess on the ground, it doesn’t look like there’s that need for those soldiers.”

Some residents in the gang-infested areas say Cele’s visit has given them peace of mind. They say they’re hopeful for the best.

“I am very proud of it and hopefully, there will be results because really our place is not safe. We hear bullets in the afternoon while the kids are playing on the streets. So, we are really hoping the promises will be kept and that we’ll have a police station come September.”