Ministerial Rural Safety Committee to be established in response to farm attacks
Following a meeting between Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer and Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Adv. Albert Fritz, the two Minister’s expressed in the strongest possible terms their condemnation of the senseless murder of farmers, agri-workers and those associated with Western Cape rural economy.
This follows the recent brutal killing of farmer, Tool Wessels on his farm in Bonnievale and Time Link Cargo driver, Christopher Kgomo at De Doorns.
These attacks threaten our agricultural sector, which is a contributor towards economic growth and job creation in the province and must be stopped.
As immediate steps Minister Meyer and Minister Fritz will attend the next SAPS Provincial Rural Safety Committee Meetings to ensure that the necessary resources are being allocated towards making rural areas safer.
A Ministerial Rural Safety Committee will also be established as a sub-committee of Cabinet to ensure that rural safety is given the strategic attention it deserves.
The current Provincial Rural Safety Plan will also be reviewed and, where necessary, adjusted to respond to the current challenges facing the rural communities.
According to Minister Meyer: “Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is 3,9% of the Provincial GDP and Agri processing a further 6,4%. Combined it amounts to 10,3% of Provincial GDP.” 45 % of South Africa’s agricultural exports also originate from the Western Cape
“An attack on a farmer or an agri worker is an attack on our rural economy and we must put a stop to this crime and lawlessness”: says Meyer.
Colleague, Minister Albert Fritz: “The safety of both rural and urban communities alike is of the utmost importance. We cannot stand for violence against our farmers, agri-workers and rural communities. Our farmlands are the bread baskets of our province and the lifeblood of our economy, feeding and empowering many families. The provincial government will also continue to prioritise youth empowerment within rural communities as it is essential that we uplift the youth through skills development and opportunities”.
Minister Meyer: “The Western Cape Government will also work closely with other stakeholders and role-players in agriculture to promote the safety of farming communities and those living in our rural areas.”
“Time for tough action is now and the Western Cape Government is committed to promoting safety in agriculture and protecting our food security in the Province.