DA Western Cape spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, Beverley Schäfer. PHOTO: wcpp.gov.za
Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday said the police was not doing enough to protect rural agriculture communities.

In a statement, DA Western Cape spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, Beverley Schäfer, said: "The recent death of two farmers, who were shot dead in Klapmuts and Klein Dassenberg in the past few weeks, is yet another example of the increasingly violent crime many of our residents endure as a direct result of a blatant failure by the SAPS to address crime in our province."

According to Schäfer, seven women and children are murdered every day, as well as two people being killed in gang violence every day.

"In a country where 74 people in rural communities have died at the hands of criminals in the past year alone, it is glaringly evident that our national police force is failing each and every South African citizen," said Schäfer.

She called upon Western Cape MEC for Community Safety to investigate the failure of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in not protecting rural agriculture communities.

"The SAPS must urgently enforce the Rural Safety Strategy, ensuring that rural police stations are fully equipped to protect our rural communities. These acts also affect Western Cape agriculture at large, by dissuading investors from investing in this sector which contributes a large portion to the Western Cape’s economy," Schäfer said.

She said that it is impossible to cultivate an agriculture economy when the lives of farmers and their workers are in danger.

Her comments come as a large convoy took part in a protest against farm killings, travelling from Stellenbosch to Cape Town on Monday. 

Schäfer called for calm in rural communities to allow police investigations into the recent murders to be conducted.

The DA said the party will remain committed to protecting farmers that call the province home.

"We owe it to our agricultural community to ensure not only their safety, but their livelihoods in our province as well," said Schäfer.

African News Agency