Organised agriculture and the police service are co-operating on implementing what is officially called the revised national rural safety strategy.
In a joint statement AgriSA and the SA Police Service (SAPS) express concerns about ongoing criminal acts on farms, including assault, murder and theft.
The SAPS contingent, under the leadership of the divisional commissioner tasked with visible policing Lieutenant General Moeketsi Sempe, and the country’s largest representative agricultural organisation, agreed on a strategic analysis of resources needed to provide adequate rural security and policing.
Eight initiatives were decided on at the meeting. They are increased visibility to curb farm attacks by police and farmers using blue and white light patrols; focus on aggressive recruitment of reservists; initiate changes in the reservist programme to encourage farmers and farm workers to be part of the reservist system; this may see reducing the length of the learning programme; ensuring all farm watches and neighbourhood structures work within the framework of the law and policies; a concerted approach by all parties is needed to revitalise rural safety committees and ensure participation at Provjoints and Natjoints priority committees; and seeking a solution to illegal hunting using dogs.
A joint working group was brought into being to deal with the initiatives.
Crime fighters and farmers committed to working together and mobilising other representative associations and organisations, including the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), to “enhance implementation of the nation rural safety strategy. Portion of the strategy will see resources allocated to stock and other theft, including agricultural equipment.