12 murders on farms/smallholdings since Dec 1 - Mthethwa

Police minister says DA MP misread an Agri-SA report on matter




Date reply submitted: 11 March 2011

10. Mr D A Worth (DA-FS) to ask the Minister of Police:

Whether, in view of the report by Agri-SA that from 1 December 2010 to date, 60 farmers have been murdered on their farms, the Government has taken any additional measures to ensure that the agricultural community is safe from criminals; if not, why not; if so, what measures?


Firstly I wish to point out that, the report by Agri-SA never stated that there had been 60 farmers murdered but rather 60 criminal incidents on farms which include robbery, stock theft, burglary, car thefts etc.  According to available information, as identified as part of the functioning of weekly crime analysis meetings, from 1 December 2010 to date there were 12 murders on farms and smallholding recorded by the SAPS.

However my department takes each and every murder very seriously and government considers rural safety one of its priorities.

A comprehensive Rural Safety Strategy, to enhance safety and security levels, accessibility to policing and service delivery to the rural community, was recently developed and is in process of being rolled out to provincial levels.

A Rural Safety Priority Committee, dealing with Rural Safety, is functioning at national level, and has representation from all role players in the rural and farming community, including the South African Police Service, Farm Workers Unions, Organised Agriculture, including AGRI SA and other Government Departments.

As part of our rural safety strategy we are:

  • Improving and enhancing the service delivery at a local station level. We have recognized that rural police stations are often isolated and responsible to police vast areas.  To address these problems we are not only creating more effective and efficient police stations but also ensuring that the local police work in partnership with both rural communities and other government departments responsible for rural development
  • Increasing and improving police visibility in rural areas and the response times of police.
  • Improving and enhancing relationships between the police, farming community, stakeholders and extended rural communities. This includes the roll out and implementation of sector policing in the rural environment. Equally we are seeking to foster and establish partnerships within the rural community.
  • Improving safety awareness in rural areas and educating rural communities on safety and security matters.

Infra structural development within the rural environment is essential to ensure equal accessibility to services and service delivery. Our rural safety plan will also support and boost rural development through the implementation of sustainable safety plan

In supporting both our crime investigations and our crime prevention we are also improving our crime intelligence and analysis in rural area Our rural safety plan also needs to address vulnerable sectors of rural communities including, women, children, elderly and disabled.

Our aim is to ensure our rural safety strategy not only respond to the immediate safety and security needs of the rural community but also ensure an effective and sustainable policing approach to such communities and areas.

We would like to encourage all stakeholders in Rural Safety to work together in a coordinated and integrated manner and engage at all levels in our planning and implementation of this strategy.

Reply to question 12 approved by the Minister

Issued by Parliament, March 11 2011

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