The incidence of farm attacks and the murder of farmers and farmworkers recently received considerable attention at government level and during a debate in Parliament. “Agri SA welcomes the condemnation of this serious crime by various government officials,” said Pierre Vercueil, president of Agri SA. “There seems to be a new wave of condemnation of farm attacks and widespread acknowledgement of this as a problem. The test is ultimately whether government will act decisively and fully implement existing policy and the Rural Safety Strategy (RSS) to combat farm attacks.”
Agri SA also welcomed the announcement by Deputy President David Mabuza that a meeting would be scheduled with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture to discuss the recent increase in farm attacks. The minister of police, Bheki Cele, visited the Normandien district following the double murder over the last weekend of August, where he met with role-players and the farming community. According to the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu), farmers and farmworkers had an opportunity to share their concern over farm attacks. The minister said he would return in two weeks’ time to assess the progress made.
Farm attacks undermine food security
The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Inkosi Mandela, said in Parliament that farm attacks undermine food security, job creation and the national economy. Agri SA agrees with his views and therefore it is important that farmers and farmworkers should receive the necessary protection.
“It is important to protect farmers and farmworkers as an asset for the country because their contribution towards national stability cannot be disputed. To this end, Agri SA will work with the police to ensure full implementation of the RSS and the creation of an agriculture-friendly reservist system.” – Press release, Agri SA