Wine farms near Stellenbosch. Picture: Facebook
SA farmers are looking forward to the Rural Safety Strategy, which they have pledged to support as a way to promote agricultural safety in the country.
An expert has also welcomed the plan, describing it as a “positive development” as it addressed obstacles around the previous strategy on rural safety.
The launch came against a reported drop in farm attacks.
According to reports published recently by The Citizen, the attacks affected both white and black farmers.
Yesterday both the National African Farmers Union of SA (Nafu SA) and the TLU SA, an agricultural union representing mainly conservative white farmers, said they would participate when the revised Rural Safety Strategy of the SA Police Service (SAPS) was launched by Police Minister Bheki Cele in Makhado, Limpopo yesterday.
Nafu SA president Motsepe Matlala said: “It is very good strategy, but obviously it needs to be reviewed from time to time. The fact that it includes farmers and communities is great.
“It will be helpful in that crime prevention will be managed by the participation of farmers, government, the communities and civil society. We appreciate that.”
TLU SA north regional general manager Drickus Botha said the union had been working closely with the police at national level to develop the strategy.
It invited other role players to support the plan, which focused on agricultural safety.
Botha said: “TLU SA encourages any other organisations involved in rural safety to work with each other. The constant altercations don’t do agricultural safety any good.
“Organisations should keep to their core business and shy away from continually criticising the police and their work,” he added.
He said the TLU SA had been involved with farm guard structures in rural areas since the early ’90s.
“Cooperation with existing community policing forum structures, as well as the private security industry confirms that constructive participation is the only solution,” Botha said.
The efficient structures established by TLU SA were set up in line with the structure and strategy of the SAPS.
“We call on political parties to support the existing strategy, as well as participating organisations and structures,” said Botha.
“The involvement of independent groups, with the best intent, confuses order and control between participants.”
Professor Johan Burger, safety and security consultant at Institute for Security Studies, said the strategy was a “positive development” and the support of the Transvaal Agriculture Union and Agri-SA was an indication that previous concerns had been addressed.
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