The apparent dearth of official assistance from police, tasked nationally to keep South Africans safe, has long impacted on the country’s rural population, especially those in the agricultural sector.
The latest addition to the list of efforts this sector is undertaking to protect itself from crime, including murder and torture, is a campaign to make security expenses tax deductible.
The brainchild of the Pretoria headquartered Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), the campaign currently lists ten security related expenses it wants farmers to be able to claim for. They are defensive walls, security cameras, burglar alarms, electric fences, razor wire, guard dogs, 24 hour monitoring and armed response services, home insurance, other home security measures and equipment as well as expenses incurred for maintenance of security equipment.
TAU president Henry Geldenhuys points out South Africans are prohibited from deducting security related expenses for income tax purposes.
“Companies can deduct this type of expense and we, as an agricultural representative organisation, want the same benefit for members as essential components of the national food value chain.
“Many South Africans have been subjected to invasions of their privacy which has seen them becoming victims of violence. The Constitution requires the State to protect citizens but its failure in this regard is clear from its own statistics.
“According to Statistics SA, housebreaking or burglary is the number one crime in South Africa. An estimated 1.2 million housebreaking incidents occurred in the 2019/20 statistical year, affecting 891 000 households. Like those on farms, South Africans living in remote areas are particularly vulnerable as they reside far from any form of assistance.
“Considering the danger South Africans face daily, it is disgraceful that the state does not allow security expenditure incurred by taxpayers in securing their residences to be deducted from income tax,” he said.
To make government and particularly those involved on tax matters, the TAU will petition Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. The union has created a platform at https://www.tlu.co.za/en/freedom-from-crime/.