R17m for rural safety over three years

Rural Safety Source: Google Images

The provincial agriculture and community safety departments have allocated R5 million to district municipalities to facilitate rural safety plans.

The departments said this was part of a safety plan roll-out which entails aligning available law enforcement resources to respond to the safety needs of rural communities.

Last month, an inter-ministerial rural safety committee which includes 10 members of the provincial cabinet was set up following a number of cases where farmers were attacked.

In the first few weeks of June, police recorded 12 incidents.

Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer’s spokesperson, Daniel Johnson, said although the department was faced with the reality of limited resources, they were working with what they have and were pleased with the progress.

“A total of R5m has been made available to facilitate the safety plans. A total allocation of about R17m is to be made available over the next three-year budget cycle.

“Implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy is ongoing and the national minister has agreed to the need to review and update the said strategy,” Johnson said.

The province has also started the process of drafting a provincial response to the National Rural Safety Strategy to ensure that the often unique safety challenges of various rural communities are considered, Johnson added.

The department has been to court to oppose bail for suspects linked to some attacks, he added.

Johnson said they were monitoring two cases, the Klapmuts incident where four men, aged 20, 24, 25 and 28, were arrested for robbing a woman while her children were present at their farmhouse.

The second incident involved a truck driver attacked on the N1 in De Doorns.