The fight against gangs in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas received a boost on Tuesday when Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane handed over new vehicles to the anti-gang unit…

Mabuyane said social cohesion and building safer communities were the province’s main priorities. Thirteen vehicles were handed over to the anti-gang unit in an effort to increase police visibility.

Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga said the aim was to “quell violence and restore peace and order” in gang-ridden suburbs that include Gelvandale, Bethelsdorp, Algoa Park and Bloemendal.

In December, South African human rights commissioner Chris Nissen visited these areas following an increase in violence and killings.

At a community engagement, which included an address at Arcadia Senior Secondary School, Mabuyane was accompanied by Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor Mongameli Bobani who welcomed the premier’s plan to tackle crime.

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“We are committed to work hand in glove with the South African Police Service to deal with socio-economic issues as a collective force with continuous effort to work smarter against organised crime,” Bobani said.

He added his hope was that the interaction with the youth would “encourage them to become part of the solution”.