Western Cape Cabinet plans to prioritise farm safety after latest murder

CAPE TOWN – A series of important meetings are due to take place between Western Cape MEC for agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer, community safety MEC Albert Fritz and Premier Alan Winde as well as the police to deal with the spate of farm killings in the province.

Stefan Smit, owner of the wine farm Louiesenhof in Stellenbosch was shot and killed in his house on Sunday night. This is the second farm killing in the Winelands just months apart.
Meyer says this matter needs to be dealt with at Cabinet level.

“My heart is bleeding every time I hear about a farm attack because an attack on the farmer is an attack on food security and also an attack on the economy of the Western Cape. More importantly, it is an attack on the dignity of the people of the Western Cape.” Says Dr Ivan Meyer, MEC for agriculture – Western Cape government. “I want to see successful prosecution for those people who are involved in farm attacks so we will also be meeting with the National Prosecuting Authority advocate Rodney de Kock. I am also taking a proposal to the Western Cape Cabinet tomorrow to establish the Rural Safety Priority Interministerial Committee to monitor the progress and develop implementation plan so that we can weekly monitor the activities because we need to protect agriculture in the Western Cape.”

Meyer says the provincial government allocated R2m for the promotion of rural safety across the Western Cape. He says he will be visiting various Rural Safety Patrol Units to provide technical support as well as clothing and equipment.

The attacks are happening in the Cape Winelands, the biggest exporters of agricultural products, explains Meyer. “This is the area that will receive our urgent attention and focus as we go forward to Cabinet tomorrow morning.”

Interview: CAPE TALK, Lengwadishang Ramphele

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