Gauteng most susceptible to farm attacks – study


Living on a farm or a smallholding in Gauteng and, on top of that, being older than 60 years place people in the category of being the most vulnerable targets for farm attacks in South Africa.

Gauteng is the most dangerous province in the country for farm and smallholding residents, according to research contained in the new book Treurgrond: Die realiteit van plaasaanvalle, 1990–2012.

More than 19.8% of the 3 319 farm attacks recorded over the 23-year period between 1990 and 2012 occurred in Gauteng, according to the book’s publisher Kraal Uitgewers. The three other northern provinces – Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo – are the second, third and fourth most dangerous provinces respectively, as 15.3% of the attacks were recorded in Mpumalanga, 15.2% in North West and 12.7% in Limpopo.

The Free State (11.8%), KwaZulu-Natal (11.5%), the Eastern Cape (7%) and the Western Cape (4.7%) are ranked fifth to eighth. The Northern Cape is firmly in the position as the “safest province”, as approximately 1.6% of the attacks were recorded in that province. (These figures are based on the number of attacks listed for each province in Treurgrond and are not in relation to the number of residents or the number of farms and smallholdings in the provinces.)

Over the 23-year period as listed in Treurgrond, 3 319 farm attacks have been recorded, which resulted in 1 610 murder victims. At least 5 818 people have been victims of farm attacks over the period 1990 to 2012.

Further research has shown that an average of three attackers are involved in each farm attack and, in some cases, there are as many as 10 attackers. “It is clear that attackers choose to work in groups. Approximately 86% of attacks are carried out by groups of two or more attackers,” Kraal Uitgewers said.

Moreover, research has indicated that older people are a lot more vulnerable to farm attacks than people in their 20s to 40s. According to the available information in Treurgrond, 42.6% of victims are 61 years and older. Victims who are 51 years and older represent a total of 62.7% of all victims. What’s more, 6.1% of the victims whose ages are recorded in Treurgrond are 15 years old or younger.