CAPE TOWN - A new report by agricultural industry body AgriSA said that seven out of 10 commercial farmers experienced at least one incident of crime in 2017.
This was but one of several facts about the extent of crime that South African farmers experience daily, according to the AgriSA 2018, National Agricultural Sector Crime Survey, recently commissioned to the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) of Unisa.
According to AgriSA agricultural-related crime costed the industry R7.7bn in 2017. The report also said that commercial farmers spent close to R1.9bn on security in 2017 year.
Equally notable from the crime study is that almost a third of commercial agricultural units experienced an increase in crime incidents during the past three years and the results emphasise AgriSA’s concerns regarding the extent of crime being experienced in commercial agriculture.
According to the BMR study the total direct cost of agricultural crime amounted to R5,45 billion in 2017, with the total replacement costs owing to agriculture crime a further R2,28 billion.
This brings the overall agricultural crime-related cost to more than R7,7 billion.
AgriSA also said they were displeased with President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement that there is “no killings of farmers" in South Africa.
"Farm attacks and murders on all farmers, farm workers and their families is a huge problem that needs to be recognized," said Dan Kriek, AgriSA President.
The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, released the latest figures on these attacks earlier this year.
The police's crime statistics show that 62 farm murders occurred during 2017/2018. AgriSA said that they appeal to President Ramaphosa to give the necessary nuances and facts about the matter.
"The extent to which food producers and their workers are subjected to brutal attacks cannot be denied. According to the latest report from AgriSA, farmers lost approximately R7.7 billion in 2017 due to crime on farms," says Kriek.
AgriSA also said that they have been involved in various talks with, among others, President Ramaphosa, Minister Cele, Minister of Agriculture, Senzeni Zokwana and international role-players.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE