Rural safety benefits from Agri Securitas Trust Fund

The board of the Agri Securitas trust fund is pleased to announce the disbursement of R1,9 million to 29 farmer associations and provincial affiliations to help fund rural safety projects around the country.

“The Trust Fund joins forces with farming communities through local farmer associations to make them safer.  The safety of rural communities is one of the central pillars in creating prosperous rural economies.  Safer communities are the only way to maintain sustainable food systems, to advance food security and build a prosperous South Africa” said Cobus van Zyl, Chair, Agri Securitas trust fund.

Some people and communities have expressed frustration with what they perceive as insufficient action by the police to address farm attacks and rural crime. Farmers and farm workers are especially vulnerable to crime, with the farming community often subject to violent farm attacks. Every effort must therefore be made to assist them in combating the scourge of crime impacting their daily operations and threatening their lives.

By listening to the local farming communities’ needs, the Trust Fund provides additional funding for rural safety projects to take on and eradicate crime, the biggest challenge facing these communities and to make rural areas safe again.

Most of the funding requests from farmer associations were for the installation or expansion of camera systems. According to local communities, these are the most effective method for both deterring crimes and tracking suspects. These systems cover large parts of the rural areas and their blanket coverage provides valuable information to the police in the investigation of criminal activities. These camera systems do not only benefit farming communities, but also the entire rural community and businesses located in towns.

“Agri SA is grateful to the Trust Fund for making these contributions to farmer associations, and for the donations of corporate institutions and other private sector donors. We urge South Africans to continue to contribute to the Trust to fill this vital gap. It is these donations that secure our farming communities and enable them to produce food for the people of our country,” said Christo van der Rheede, Chief Executive Officer at Agri SA.

As things stand, it appears that there has been a deterioration in the political will to address rural safety more effectively through the Rural Safety Strategy. But there is too much at stake to simply abandon the strategy. Beyond the ever-increasing private investment into security measures by the farming community including the support that the trust fund provides, we can only hope that Minister Cele will soon show a sense of urgency in announcing the outcome of the previous year’s Rural Safety Summit, which is what is required to keep South Africa’s food producing communities safe.

Agri Securitas trust fund web page:

Media Enquiries:

Kobus Visser

Agri Securitas Trust Fund

082 388 0010

Christo van der Rheede

Executive Director of Agri SA

083 380 3492

Cobus van Zyl

Chairperson Agri Securitas Trust Fund

083 283 7076