Address to local farmers in Tulbagh on Tuesday. Police officer Carl Klein, Cape Winelands District Mayor Helena van Schlicht, Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, agriculture stakeholder Nic van Huyssteen and Tulbagh station commander Colonel Charlie Meiring.
Address to local farmers in Tulbagh on Tuesday. Police officer Carl Klein, Cape Winelands District Mayor Helena van Schlicht, Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, agriculture stakeholder Nic van Huyssteen and Tulbagh station commander Colonel Charlie Meiring.

Tulbagh farmers worry about rural safety plan

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Sep 16, 2021

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Cape Town - Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said that rural safety was a critical priority and that support for the agricultural sector was best provided through well-run and financially sound municipalities that were able to ensure water and energy security.

Meyer was accompanied by Cape Winelands District executive Mayor Helena von Schlicht during his visit to Tulbagh, and elaborated on their rural safety desk to monitor incidences of farm attacks.

“We also continue to engage with the relevant authorities to address the inefficiencies at the Port of Cape Town, which is bedevilling the export of agricultural produce from the Western Cape. Improving the Port of Cape Town operations ensures that agriculture continues to create jobs and grow the economy,” said Meyer.

Von Schlicht said crime was escalating in rural areas, which threatened lives as well as economic growth potential, and although the agriculture sector organised themselves by employing farm watches to assist police in combating crime, they were in dire need of additional well-positioned safety cameras.

Von Schlicht said local government (Witzenberg local municipality and Cape Winelands District Municipality) were playing a crucial role in facilitating and coordinating safety measures to assist police in safeguarding their communities.

Agri Western Cape's Rural Safety Policy Committee chairperson Uys van der Westhuijzen said there were various concerns regarding rural safety, as police were currently under-resourced, under-staffed and sometimes not adequately trained to address crime in the rural areas.

Several police stations were unable to fulfil their functions with rural safety, due to not being able to get to the scene or because they just did not have enough personnel to man the police station and address an incident on a farm, simultaneously.

“It is imperative that silo planning between government entities, communities and relevant role-players needs to stop. Integrated, well-coordinated and joint planning/execution will contribute to creating a better life for all,” said van der Westhuijzen.

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