CAPE TOWN - Gang violence in the Western Cape is alarmingly high and urgent interventions are needed to curb the bloodshed.
The province's Forensic Pathology Service estimates the death toll could be over 2,000.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has sent a warning to gang members that authorities will find them, and they will face the full might of the law.
"We can't allow the country to be run by criminals,” said Cele.
“No ways. We can't have a parallel governance that is elected formally and legitimate and have a parallel government that is illegal and run by criminals."
Cele is placing particular focus on infrastructure and public lighting.
"I can assure you, it will be forever difficult to police under these conditions,” the police minister said.
“There should be proper streets, there should be a proper address because we don't know where to find you so we have to move around and that kind of thing gives the criminals who are more adapted to those conditions a better advantage. There should be proper lighting."
Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has reiterated calls for all sectors to join forces to crush gang violence.
"The need now is to get the safety of our people, stop gangster violence,” Fritz said.
“We can't perhaps always stop it but we can reduce it but I want to make the point that our community involvement is incredibly important.
“We also want to ask our communities through our neighbourhood watches to stop hiding and protecting gangsters."