EDITORIAL | Leadership crucial as crime pushes SA to a tipping point
The causes of crime, among them joblessness and poverty, must be tackled or violent protests will engulf us
Last week, Sunday Times Daily ran a special report on farm attacks, speaking to survivors, agricultural officials and the police. Several themes emerged: the financial impact on a farm targeted by criminals, the emotional devastation of the loss and that crime does not discriminate.
We interviewed farmworkers and farm owners, black and white, men and women. Emerging farmers and established commercial farmers. All with the same horrific tales of trauma after the attacks, the fear engulfing their families’ lives and the negative impact on farming operations.
Agri SA said, on average, a farm would be abandoned for up to five years by a farmer who is violently attacked. Agricultural economist Willem van Jaarsveld said if farmers did not leave their land after an attack, they often downscaled their farming activities. This led to dozens of people losing their jobs and livelihoods. Ultimately, the situation can threaten food security. Land, food, family, community. These are core issues that go to the heart of people’s lives; their reasons to live. ..