Page 34 - PORCUS Sep / Oct 2020
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 Rural safety
Stability in rural areas necessary for economies to thrive
Agbiz is alarmed at the high incidence of crime in South Africa, and in par- ticular crime in the rural communities where food producers and many of our agribusinesses are operating, says Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase.
“We strongly rejectand condemnall forms of violence and criminality in all of our communities.”
“Crime in the rural areas leaves the whole farming community vulnera- ble, and it not only affects farmers, but also farmworkers and their fami- lies.
Dr Purchase noted that the criminal activity in rural communities is not only destroying lives, but also
progressively destroying rural econ- omies whose well-being is crucial to produce food for the countryand attract investment into the sector.
“We are at a time where the country is looking at agriculture as one of the sectors to contribute to economic growth and job creation, which would not be possible without stability in the rural areas.
“Rural safety and security are of critical importance, and we urge government and all relevant stake- holders to work together to find workable solutions to ensure that law and order is upheld in rural commu- nities in order for their economies to
thrive.” Dr Purchase stressed that it is important to address these matters in a calm, cooperative and rational manner. He called on the agricultural community to remain alert, take all necessary precautions and to be- come actively involved in their local organised agriculture and security structures.
Agbiz also called on policy makers and political leaders to recognise crime in rural areas as a priority crime, which deserves focused efforts from all law enforcement structures and the criminal justice system. Political will is necessary to turn this deterio- rating situation around.
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