Financial aid to secure farms
Hundreds of thousands has been doled out to Eastern Cape farming communities for their protection – but it’s unlikely to be spent on farm patrols.
The money – from the Agri Securitas Trust Fund set up by Agri SA in 2001 – is earmarked for things like boom gates, radio systems, cameras and awareness campaigns, says Kobus Breytenbach, chair of Agri SA’s centre of excellence for rural safety.
Agri EC chair Douglas Stern said farming associations in the Eastern Cape had “certainly” made use of the trust fund calling it a wonderful opportunity which “makes a massive difference” and claiming that hundreds of thousands of rands had come to the province’s farming associations through it.
Stern said such initiatives were important as the first line of defence was at home.
Cameras and radio systems were popular choices in the Eastern Cape, he added.
Stern said farmers were doing their own patrolling in the province.
The manner of patrolling varied from place to place with “some more intense than others”.
Breytenbach said it was required of all applicants and their operations to work within the confines of the law and hand-in-hand with the police.
The trust fund was set up as a means to enhance farm security and crime prevention in the country’s rural areas.
It can be accessed by farming associations and unions through applications made to a controlling board and has contributed in excess of R10m to farm and rural security and crime prevention since its establishment 17 years ago.
This was revealed in a statement released by Agri SA on Tuesday, soon after the release of the nation’s crime statistics.