FARMER’S LIVES MATTER

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Farm attacks have recently come under the spotlight after an increase in a spate of gruesome crimes have been reported during lockdown. According to a recent report, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng, and Limpopo have the highest number of farm murders.

Rural communities are the most vulnerable not only because they are isolated, but because rural police stations are under-resourced and they are required to police vast areas, which unfortunately makes visible policing virtually impossible. 

Whilst COVID-19 has hit South Africa hard, in more ways than one, so has the escalating brutality in violent crime, including attacks on farmers.

Statistics show that around 70% of South African citizens reside in urbanised areas and are dependent on commercial farmers to produce food for our country. The reliance of our country and its people, on the food production of farmers, is even more critical at a time when South Africa is in lockdown and desperately in need of food. Commercial farmers, South Africa’s biggest asset, however, continue to be inflicted by heinous crimes and farm murders, during the national lockdown. And whilst our police services are constrained and overburdened, our farmers continue with their daily routine, doing what they can to sustain not only their livelihood but the livelihood of their workers and feeding our nation. 

Our farmers deserve better! The DA has called on our MEC for Safety and Security, Mavhungu Lerule Ramakhanya, to prioritise the ongoing farm attacks, and to provide additional resources so that they are better equipped to protect our farm communities. The violence against our farmers will not end overnight, and the drive to assist, protect, and support our farmers should be one of our Government’s current top priorities. 

Author – Kate Bailey – Hill

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