Agri SA – Plaasaanvalle geniet hoëvlak aandag

Die voorkoms van plaasaanvalle en -moorde op boere en plaaswerkers het die afgelope tyd baie aandag geniet op regeringsvlak en tydens die debat in die Parlement die afgelope week.

“Die veroordeling van die ernstig misdaad deur verskeie regeringslui word deur Agri SA verwelkom, dit is asof ‘n nuwe golf van die veroordeling van plaasaanvalle oor die land spoel en die erkenning daarvan as ‘n probleem. Dit het weer nuwe momentum gegee om op regeringsvlak oplossings hiervoor te vind. Die toets aan die einde van die dag sal lê by daadwerklike optrede deur die regering en die volledige implementering van bestaande beleid en die Landelike Beveiligingstrategie om plaasaanvalle te voorkom”, sê Pierre Vercueil, President van Agri SA.

Agri SA verwelkom ook die aankondiging van die Adjunkpresident, David Mabuza, om Vrydag ‘n vergadering te reël met die Inter-ministeriële komitee op Grondhervorming en Landbou om die onlangse toename in plaasaanvalle te bespreek en oplossings vir die gewelddadige aanvalle te vind.

“Ons verwelkom ook die Adjunk-president en die Minister van Landbou, Grondhervorming en Landelike Ontwikkeling se veroordeling van plaasaanvalle en die erkenning wat hulle gee aan die belangrike rol wat die landbou in die ekonomie speel” sê Vercueil.

Die Minister van Polisie het gister besoek afgelê aan die Normandien-gebied na die naweek se dubbele plaasmoord waar hy met rolspelers en die boerderygemeenskap vergader het.

Volgens, Kwanalu, ‘n affiliasie van Agri SA, het boere en plaaswerkers die geleentheid gehad om hulle kommer oor plaasaanvalle met die Minister te deel. Die Minister het gesê dat hy oor twee weke terug sal wees om te bepaal watter vordering met die saak gemaak is.

Die Voorsitter van die Portefeuljekomitee op Landbou, Grondhervorming en Landelike Ontwikkeling, Inkosi Mandela, het in die Parlement gesê, dat aanvalle op plase bedreig voedselsekerheid, werkskepping en die ekonomie van die land, dat boere en plaaswerkers veral kwesbaar is omdat hulle ver van essensiële dienste is en dat hulle die beskerming van die polisie moet geniet.

Agri SA stem saam met sy siening en daarom is dit belangrik dat boere en plaaswerkers die nodige beskerming moet geniet. Volgens Vercueil is dit is een van die sektore van die ekonomie met wie die meeste landsburgers elke dag ‘n afspraak om die etenstafel het en sorg dat daar genoeg kos in die land beskikbaar is.

“Dat boere en plaaswerkers beskerm moet word as ‘n bate vir die land weens die rol wat hulle speel om by te dra tot nasionale stabiliteit is ‘n uitgemaakte saak. Agri SA sal daarom saam met die polisie werk aan die volledige implementering van die Landelike Beveiligingstrategie en die daarstel van ‘n landbou vriendelike reserviste stelsel”.

In aansluiting by die Voorsitter van die Portefeuljekomitee vir polisie, Tina JoematPettersson dat die polisie landelike gebiede moet beskerm, sê Tommie Esterhuyse, Voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid dat “Agri SA reeds gesprekke hieroor met die polisie gehad het en dat hy uitsien om verder saam te werk binne die ooreengekome taakspanne om hieraan uitvoering te gee.”

Farm attacks receive high-level attention

The incidence of farm attacks and the murder of farmers and farm workers recently received considerable attention at government level and during a debate in Parliament in the past week.

“Agri SA welcomes the condemnation of this serious crime by various government officials. There seems to be a new wave of condemnation of farm attacks and widespread acknowledgement of this as a problem, adding new momentum to efforts at government level to find solutions in this regard. The test is ultimately whether government will act decisively and fully implement existing policy and the Rural Safety Strategy to combat farm attacks,” said Pierre Vercueil, President of Agri SA.

Agri SA also welcomed the announcement by Deputy President David Mabuza that a meeting would be scheduled on Friday with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture to discuss and seek solutions regarding the recent increase in farm murders and violent attacks.

“We also welcome the Deputy President and Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s condemnation of farm attacks and their acknowledgement of the important role that agriculture plays in the economy,” said Vercueil.

The Minister of Police yesterday visited the Normandien district after the double murder during the weekend, where he met with role players and the farming community. According to Kwanalu, an affiliate of Agri SA, farmers and farm workers had an opportunity to share their concern over farm attacks with the minister. The minister said he would be back in two weeks’ time to assess the progress made.

The chair of the Portfolio Committee for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Inkosi Mandela, said in Parliament that farm attacks undermine food security, job creation and the national economy and that farmers and farm workers were particularly vulnerable because of long distances from essential services and therefore required the necessary police protection.

Agri SA agrees with his views and therefore it is important that farmers and farm workers should receive the necessary protection. According to Vercueil, agriculture is one of the economic sectors with whom the most fellow citizens have a daily appointment with around the table and ensures that we have sufficient food.

“The importance of protecting farmers and farm workers as an asset for the country because of their contribution towards national stability, cannot be disputed. To this end, Agri SA will work with the police to ensure full implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy and the creation of an agriculture-friendly reservist system.”

With reference to the call by Police Portfolio Committee Chair Tina Joemat-Pettersson that police should protect rural areas, Tommie Esterhuyse, the chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety, said “Agri SA has already held discussions with the police and looks forward to further cooperation within the agreed-upon task teams in this regard”.