13 August 2020
Agri SA remains outspoken regarding the ongoing attacks on members of the farming community, as well as the rising incidence of crime terrorising our fellow South Africans daily. Today the focus is on these crimes, with communities now taking a stand and making their voices heard.
“The agricultural community will over the next day’s make their voices heard in various ways, protesting within provincial context against violence on farms, opposing bail for suspected perpetrators of farm attacks and expressing support for the police in their efforts to curb such attacks. These efforts are welcomed as they create further awareness of and draw attention to the devastating impact that crime has on the farming communities who produce food for the country and contribute towards the economy,” said Tommie Esterhuyse, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety.
The actions against rural crime are planned by Agri SA’s affiliates, Agri Northern Cape, Free State Agriculture and Kwanalu. This forms part of well-considered and well-planned actions that will be conducted in a responsible manner and in compliance with the law. “Agri SA fully supports the actions by its member organisations. These are spontaneous actions by members to once again draw attention to the seriousness of farm attacks and violent crime in their respective communities and to express their condemnation in this regard,” said Esterhuyse.
In support of these initiatives, Agri SA will continue to engage with the police to introduce appropriate measures to improve rural safety, such as the more effective implementation of the Revised Rural Safety Strategy. The recent announcement by the National Commissioner of Police that task teams would be deployed at certain hotspots to combat crime, is a step in the right direction.
Agri SA also welcomed the announcement by the police that joint working groups would be appointed to look at the resources needed to implement the strategy, finalise a reservist system, which will make it easier for the farming community to participate and to seek workable solutions to the problem such as the illegal hunting with dogs. “We are prepared to work with the police in an effort to find solutions as soon as possible,” said Esterhuyse.
Esterhuyse said, “the farming community should not give up despite the many challenges they contend with every day. We have an important task and a positive role to play in the country’s interest. Agri SA appreciates the contribution that every member makes towards rural safety within their own structures”.
Issued by Tommie Esterhuyse, Chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety, 13 August 2020