This was according to Tommie Estehuyse, Free State Agriculture Safety and Security committee chairperson.
Financial assistance from the trust was recently allocated to the farming communities of Utrecht in KwaZulu-Natal, Vaalharts and Namaqualand in the Northern Cape, as well as Free State Agriculture’s security desk.
“We are going to use this financial assistance to create and implement additional farm watches in the Free State. The financial support will also make it possible for us to continue with our role as a support service to the South African Police Service in the ongoing fight against rural crime,” Estehuyse said.
Japie Grobler, Agri Securitas chairperson, said that the trust’s objective was to financially support farming communities to combat crime, and to contribute to the agricultural sector’s ability to provide consumers with sufficient food.
The need for support in the fight against crime, and the demands made on the trust for financial assistance were on the increase. “Through this support we endeavour to add to stability in South Africa,” Grobler said in a statement.
Henning Myburg, Agri Northern Cape CEO, said that theft was on the increase in the province, and that some of the money received from the trust would be used to expand safety and security structures in Vaalharts. Myburg added that thieves particularly targeted pecan nut orchards.
“Pecan nut trees are virtually stripped overnight. Unemployment is [one] of the main reasons for this crime. We’ve experienced a huge influx of people laid off by the mines recently,” he said.