“In recent months, the farming community has been subjected to violent farm attacks, often resulting in murder and serious trauma. For this reason, it is becoming increasingly difficult to explain to those who are or had been directly exposed to crime that the Agri Securitas Trust Fund, with the financial resources at its disposal, was making every effort to make a difference to the safety of farmers and farm workers,” said Japie Grobler, chairman of the Agri Securitas Trust Fund.
To this end, a premium is placed on agricultural development, job creation and the responsibility of the sector to produce food for the country amidst a culture of unabated crime. In addition, the farming community ensures that there is stability in the country by providing adequate food to a growing population.
In an attempt to assist the farming community in their rural safety protection efforts, the Agri Securitas Trust Fund recently again provided financial support for security projects. These projects include the provision of camera systems for the Hartbeesfontein Agricultural Association in the North West province and the Buffelshoek Agricultural Association in the Eastern Cape. These systems are intended to monitor access to the area and also to serve as a deterrent for criminals. Cameras are also able to capture valuable information regarding suspicious-looking vehicles and persons that enter the area, with a view to further police action.
Funds have also been made available to Frankfort Agriculture and the Marquard District Agricultural Union in the Free State for the purchase of security equipment and the installation of radio repeaters to improve communication. The security equipment will be used by the farm watch in their rural safety operations within the framework of the Rural Safety Strategy. Good communication during crime-prevention operations is a determining factor in the success thereof and the radio repeaters can make a contribution in this regard.
Lastly, funds have also been made available to Free State Agriculture’s Security Desk to implement an integrity selection database to scan prospective job seekers to determine if they have a criminal record.
Rural safety has become an enormous cost item for farming communities, with various diverse dimensions. With these contributions, the Trust Fund attempts to assist in creating a safer production and living environment for farmers and farm workers. No protective measures can serve as a guarantee that a farm attack will not take place, but the deterrent value thereof should not be underestimated.
The Trust Fund cannot perform this task alone; therefore, it acknowledges its strategic partners, namely Nissan SA, Sanlam, CrisisOnCall and Sonfin, for their ongoing financial support. The recent contributions made by Santam, Gavilon, OFM, Afgri, NWK and Senwes, are also acknowledged. “With the support of these friends of agriculture, the Trust Fund strives to create a more safer rural environment”, Grobler said in closing.
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