AgriSA hopes for ‘decisive action’ from govt regarding farm attacks

This week parliamentarians debated matters pertaining to farm attacks and farm-related murders.

FILE: Farming communities protested against farm murders on 30 October 2017 under the banner ‘genoeg is genoeg’ (enough is enough). Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - AgriSA said while the issue of farm attacks was finally getting government attention, they now hoping for decisive action.

This week parliamentarians debated matters pertaining to farm attacks and farm-related murders.

The farmers' organisation said the most recent annual crime stats show there have been 49 murders in 46 incidents - and in June, when the restriction on movement was relaxed, attacks increased.

AgriSA's Pierre Vercueil said while the issue had now received 'considerable attention', the test was whether government would act decisively and fully implement existing policy and the rural safety strategy.

“We are heartened by the fact that government has come to the party by giving us and giving necessary attention to this big problem that we have because farmers are so exposed.”

He said they had noticed the attacks have been mostly against older people.

“Lately, sometimes people don’t necessarily get murdered, they get attacked in a very brutal way. Sometimes murders, rape even happens.”

Vercueil said farmers are also forced to buy expensive equipment to protect themselves without any form of support from government.

“We would like to see the farm attacks being prioritised. We are so vulnerable; we don’t have police stations close to us.”

The issue will again be discussed when Deputy President David Mabuza meets an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture on Friday, 4 September.

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