The Ministry of Police and AgriSA will work together to develop a plan of action to create safety in farming communities.
“We must attend to farm killings as well as attacks… but equally, we must prevent any form of disruption with regard to production that takes place at the level of the farms,” Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said during a briefing recently.
The briefing followed a meeting between the Minister and AgriSA to discuss the National Rural Safety Strategy.
“Our programme of safety is to ensure that there is safety in rural areas, order and accessibility to the police in those areas,” Minister Mbalula said.
The plan must include increased police visibility. The South African Police Service (SAPS) also undertook to sharpen its approach to rural safety; farmers must form an integral part of that approach.
A total of 1 181 police reservists have been enrolled for training and will be deployed across the rural areas.
Minister Mbalula said farmers must interact with the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure regarding planning, ensuring protection and preventing crime in all areas.
“We have an obligation to make sure that everybody's safety and security is guaranteed, as it is required by the Constitution,” Minister Mbalula said.
AgriSA CEO Omri van Zyl said the Minister’s commitment to implementing a strategy where the SAPS and AgriSA work closely together to benefit farmers and farm workers is encouraging.
“I think this partnership will help us to lift the spirit and the sense of security that we will have in our country, including rural areas,” said Van Zyl.
“This boils down to creating a safe South Africa, creating a rural village we can live in, and creating an environment where farmers and South Africans can reinvest in the economy as well as an environment where we can show progress and prosperity for our farmers and South Africans,” Van Zyl said.