David Mabuza has now taken a stand against farm murders by saying that the lives of all South Africans matter – including those of farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers.
According to a statement issued by the presidency on Thursday, Mabuza paid attention to farm murders in written answers to questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCP) on Wednesday.
This comes after Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa last month expressed his concern about farm murders in public. Meanwhile, the police have announced that they will establish a specialized unit to fight farm attacks and murders in future.
According to police crime statistics released last week, there were 49 farm murders in 46 incidents in the 2019-20 financial year.
According to the presidency’s latest statement, Mabuza “emphasized the government’s position that the lives of farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers, as well as every citizen in the country, black and white, matter”.
He added that South Africans can find comfort in the fact that when offenders are prosecuted, the country’s courts do justice to the victims of violent crime such as murder. He says the courts show no mercy to those who cause physical, psychological and economic damage to communities that put food on South Africans’ tables.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) will continue to improve relations with stakeholders in farming communities, he says.
Mabuza also stressed that the government is making a deliberate effort to ensure through the inter-ministerial committee on land reform and agriculture that the agricultural sector remains the “lifeblood of the economy”.
“The deputy president emphasized that agriculture continues to show resilience in the midst of an economic contraction and that it remains an important part of South Africa’s economy.”
On service delivery, Mabuza said the task force on Eskom, which he leads, is looking for solutions to the issue of municipalities using more electricity than their respective contracts with Eskom allow.
According to Mabuza, this, as well as municipalities that do not pay their debts to Eskom, are the reasons why municipalities are experiencing power problems, which contributes to challenges with service delivery.
The task force will meet on Friday to discuss the stabilization of power supply as well as issues related to corruption affecting the national power provider.