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Farm safety: the first national priority
Agri SA, with Agri Western Cape, want to strongly condemn the recent murder of Stefan Smit, a farmer from Stellenbosch. Agri SA would also like to convey its condolences to the Smit family. He will be remembered as a loyal member and leader in his community. His death is a huge loss.
"Stefan played a major role in his community and was closely involved in actions to promote agriculture in the Western Cape," says Cornie Swart, Agri Western Cape President. "Every farm attack is tragic, there are too many to mention, but Stefan's murder is still a big shock."
Farm attacks are not receiving the necessary attention from national government. Farm attacks are overwhelmingly brutal and violent with a far-reaching impact on the family and the community. Agri SA supports Agri Western Cape and the provincial government’s actions and has elevated the issue to President Cyril Ramaphosa to demand immediate action.’
"Farm safety, for farmers and farm workers, is President Ramaphosa's first priority to the agricultural community," says Dan Kriek, Agri SA President. "President Ramaphosa made promises in April before the national election that farmers will be safeguarded, and we will now demand action. We cannot give effect to other policies if the safety of our farmers is by no means guaranteed. A national plan backed by substantial resources, effective policing and an effective justice system which can be implemented with urgency, is needed now. "
The murder of Smit shows that greater cooperation between role-players are needed.
Farmers' associations are encouraged to liaise with the Agri Securitas Trust Fund to see to what extent the fund can help with safeguarding. Agri Securitas has existed since 1999 and has since helped many agricultural associations with security infrastructure.
Further information can be obtained at https://www.agrisa.co.za/agriSecuritas.
Christo van der Rheede
Agri SA Deputy Executive Director
(C) 083 380 3492
Agri SA President
(C) 082 944 0566