Roundtable discussion on farm killings

Kobus Visser, Director: Corporate Liaison

Agri SA attended the discussion hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together the public, private sector and civil society to speak with one voice and to work together as a team to combat this act of brutality. In his address, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, Mr Zokwana said that in recent years, we have witness some brutal attacks against the farming community, both farm owners and farm workers.

"This on-going scourge of criminal attacks in the farming community is causing serious damages and uncertainty which may affect jobs, economic growth and food security in the sector. If there is no stability within the farming communities as a result of farm killing and murdering, we may fail our nation if we don't act now in fighting against any form of violence against brutal killing of farm owners and farm workers", said Zokwana.

In a written submission to the department, Agri SA pointed out that issues relating to rural safety are critical within the farming community and therefore dialogue and strategic engagements are imperative in addressing the challenges faced by farmers, farm workers and members of the rural community. Therefore, Agri SA welcomed the fact that government views the safety and security of the rural community, especially that of farmers and farm workers, as a priority as well as the attention that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries gives to the problem through this dialogue. In its submission, Agri SA recommended the operationalisation of the Rural Safety Strategy as an inclusive strategy to deal with rural crime, the establishment of a rural policing capacity and the roll-out of the reservist system in all provinces.