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Agri SA is encouraged by the national commissioner of police, General Khehla Sitole's commitment to helping farmers and farming communities. General Sitole attended the meeting of Agri SA's Rural Safety committee on Monday.
Agri SA also welcomes the commissioner's invitation to finalize the Rural Safety strategy with the police and to launch the strategy jointly during 2019. Agri SA will act as a partner of the SAPS with the awareness of the revised strategy.
"Agri SA appreciates the National Commissioner's enthusiasm to make rural areas safer and that the police want to work with Agri SA," said Tommie Esterhuyse, newly elected chairman of Agri SA's Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety "The meeting gave farmers the opportunity for an open and honest conversation that Agri SA can build on."
During the meeting, Sitole discussed the police's turnaround strategy with the committee, with rural safety as one of the focus areas in this strategy. He further said that it is his and the police’s aim to create a safer rural environment by 2030 by fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities.
The police want to contribute to the economic development in rural areas with improved policing so that the farming community can continue its important contribution to the economy, food security and stability in South Africa. Aspects such as the implementation of an effective reservist system, the revival of rural specialist units and the provision of the necessary resources to rural police stations are of the elements included in the turnaround strategy.
"The good cooperation between Agri SA and the police over the years has been reaffirmed and brought to a higher level by the visit of the top management of the police and the undertaking of closer cooperation," said Esterhuyse.
During the Centre's meeting, the new management of the committee was elected with Tommie Esterhuyse, a farmer of Heilbron as chairman, Joe Scholtz of Griekwastad, as deputy chairman and Uys van der Westhuijzen as additional member.
Agri SA Chairman: Rural Safety
082 782 0668
Agri SA Policy Head: Rural Safety
082 388 0010