Cele said the anti-gang operation will target regular gangs and illegal fire-arms, including people who are out on bail.
Cape Town, a worldwide tourist destination with stunning coastal and mountain scenery, has the highest murder rate in the country according to the latest official crime figures.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance party, which has governed the Western Cape since 2011, welcomed the temporary military intervention saying it was long overdue.
"The deployment of the SANDF is a massive relief for the people of our province who can now look forward to being safe in their own communities and homes", said Western Cape Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz.
Youth unemployment is over 50 percent in many poorer parts of South Africa, which is the most unequal country in the world according to World Bank measurements. Similar to Los Angeles, there is an entrenched gang culture with thousands of young men belonging to street gangs with names like 'Hard Living and 'Young Americans.
Once soldiers are deployed, they will be under the orders of police leaders.
Gareth Newham at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, said: "It is a short-term, unsustainable response to a crisis".