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Agri SA welcomes President Ramaphosa’s statement on rural crime

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Source: Agri SA media release, 12 October 2020

“Agri SA welcomes the condolences expressed by President Ramaphosa to the family of the late Brendin Horner and all other victims of crime. We also welcome the President’s acknowledgement that crime is tearing our country apart and poses a serious constitutional threat”, says Pierre Vercueil, Agri SA’s president.

South Africa is caught up in a vicious cycle of crime, which has an extremely negative impact on all people in the country. The levels of violence and brutality accompanying rural crime are unacceptable. Everything possible should now be done to combat crime.

The maintenance of law and order must now be prioritised; therefore, we welcome the practical steps proposed by the President in his newsletter this morning. We agree that the success of the revised Rural Protection Strategy depends on greater coordination and better communication between the South African Police Service (SAPS), agricultural organisations and communities, says Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA’s executive director.

The recent meeting between organized agriculture and the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Sitole, extending a hand of co-operation, in that the undertaking was given that the SAPS will prioritise crimes in rural areas proactively and reactively. Success can only be achieved where farmers, their employees and the police work together to fight crime and to bring criminals to justice. During the discussion, particular focus was placed on the better implementation of various elements of the strategy and Agri SA reaffirmed its support for it.

Agri SA has for many years pleaded for stronger cooperation between local rural safety structures, local police as well as closer interaction between SAPS and private security companies working in farming communities and the SAPD. That is why Agri SA has already entered into a co-operation agreement with Fidelity ADT to help strengthen local security initiatives.

Agriculture plays a significant role in terms of sustainable investment in rural development. Agri SA is once again reaching out to encourage coordinated and pragmatic investment; to facilitate economic growth and assist emerging farmers; and to get rural economies on track in order to improve the quality of life of all people in rural areas and bring about prosperity on an inclusive basis.

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