The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries has called on South Africans and all stakeholders to take action against farm attacks which threatens economic growth and food security.
Speaking during a Summit on farm killings, murders and stock theft on Thursday, the Departments Director-General, Mzamo Michael Mlengana said that people need to stop pointing fingers at one another regarding the root causes for these acts and come up with solutions.
“If there is no stability within the farming communities as a result of farm killing and murdering and stock theft we may fail our nation if we don’t act now in fighting against any form of violence against brutal killing of farm owners and farm workers,” he said.
The summit was organised by the Department of Agriculture to engage with Civil society, Farmers’ unions and other stakeholders to find mechanisms and solutions to deal with the incidences of farm murders and stock theft.
“This on-going scourge of criminal attacks in the farming community is causing serious damages and uncertainty which may affect jobs, economic growth and food security in the sector. This cannot be left unattended,” said Mlengana.
Mlengana said that government was concerned about the lack of stability within the farming communities as a result of farm killing.
“we may fail our nation if we don’t act now in fighting against any form of violence against farm owners and farm workers,” he said.
However, the DG indicated that according to the recent statistics on farm attacks and murders dating back to 2012 as released by the Police Minister Bheki Cele, there was an indication of a decrease in the number of murders reported year-on-year.
Lobby group AfriForum has campaigned for the government to prioritise the attacks against farmers.
Last year farmers staged a protest #BlackFriday highlighting the high number of farmers who are murdered in the country.
FARM ATTACK: Hennopsriver, Gauteng Province. 5 armed suspects entered house and victims fought back. 2 attackers wounded, one already arrested and the other is being sought in bush. Other 3 fled. No victims have serious injuries. GREAT TO HEAR FARMERS FIGHTING BACK!!!! pic.twitter.com/zRBG7EN1CN
— Ian Cameron (@IanCameron23) June 13, 2018