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Farm Murders Cut Across All Cultures, Races And All Creeds

The agricultural sector has been a direct victim of crime and farm murders at a disproportional rate.

30/10/2017 18:51 SAST | Updated 30/10/2017 18:51 SAST
Deaan Vivier/ Beeld/ Gallo Images/ Getty Images
1,500 white crosses have been planted next to the John Vorster off-ramp near the N1 in Centurion as evidence and as a protest for the 1,500 people who have died due to farm attacks, shown here on July 27, 2003, in Pretoria, South Africa.

The farm murders are about the farmers and the farm workers, it is about all rural community dwellers that are associated with agriculture. This cuts across all cultures, races and all creeds.

We represent the farming sector and this is where we place the priority and this issue affects all South Africans. And this is a sector of South Africans that are tired of the violent crime on farms, stock theft and everything associated with the illegalities occurring on the farms.

The agricultural sector has been a direct victim of crime and farm murders at a disproportional rate. In comparison to the rest of the world, being a farmer in South Africa is the most dangerous occupation in the world, apart from being a gang member.

There is a big play on food security to ensure that we keep food security intact for our nation and make sure that we protect the lives of all South Africans, and in this instance, specifically people in the agricultural sector.

The government needs to re-strategise and re-prioritise their execution, perhaps similar to what they have done with the fees must fall campaign -- that ignited government to re-allocating additional portions of the budgets. It needs to work with civil society and ourselves to come up with solutions.

A farmers job is to produce food and it's not to make sure that he and his farmworkers are safe every day -- that is the South African government's job. Stock theft has reached such a point that a lot of farmers simply cannot go on farming because it's untenable and unsustainable to go on like that.

Let's ensure that we keep all South Africans safe, and in this instance, specifically farmers and farm workers.

Farming is difficult as it is and we need to work towards creating a safer environment for these guys to operate. Down the line if this (farm murders) continues, we will be looking at food insecurity, we will be looking at a South Africa where food prices go through the roof, complete social instability and the migration of people from all over the show.

And to a large extent, our farmers feed Southern Africa, if we don't do that anymore, can you imagine when the boarders start going down? It's going to be complete chaos.

We (agricultural sector) are actually the glue that keeps this whole country's economy and food production system together and all we are saying is let's ensure that we keep all South Africans safe, and in this instance, specifically farmers and farm workers.

There is a lot of negativity these days, and everyone is striking because of all kinds of negativity, and I think as South Africans, we need to remain positive, and we need to do more in terms of pulling solutions. We need to mobilise ourselves in a legal and in a positive way in order to make a difference.