Police minister Bheki Cele admitted on Friday during a walkabout in Gqeberha that the South African Police Service cannot win the war against crime in the Eastern Cape on its own.
Cele, along with national police commissioner, General Fannie Masemola, and his management team, visited the city to launch Operation Shanela — an intensified and aggressive response to crime.
He urged government departments to urgently address the drivers of criminality in areas grappling with high crime levels and gangsterism.
Cele said he had noted with concern during a walkabout in Gelvandale, the high number of children of school-going age loitering around during school hours.
“These areas need far more than law enforcement to make life better. It is very clear that police alone won’t win the war on crime.”
“The high number of children not going to school pushes them towards criminality and gangsterism. This is why we again make the call for the whole of government and the whole of society to fight crime,” he said.
Cele urged government departments to put all hands on deck to root out crime and other social ills.
“What is clear in this place, is that the police or law enforcement alone can’t win the war. The question of drugs, and the high number of children not attending school. You see young people aged 16 and 17 saying that they are done with school. That feeds into gangsterism and criminality.”
Since the inception of Operation Shanela in May, around 10,000 arrests have taken place during operations in the Eastern Cape.