Our Policies/The Safe Society/
Rural Safety Policy
At a glance
DA RURAL SAFETY POLICY – “PROTECTING SA’S HEARTLAND”
Documents to Download
- MDU- DA Putting farming first.pdf (393 kb)
Farm attacks have been an increasing phenomenon since 1994 to the extent that by 2001 these attacks peaked at close to 1000 per year. There has been a general decline since, but Gauteng, Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal still see increasing incidents of attack. Farmers and farm workers continue to be viewed by criminal elements as soft targets due to the large distances between farms and because many rural residents are often older and therefore more vulnerable. The sad reality is that despite most farm attacks being motivated by robbery these are in many instances carried out in an extremely brutal manner, with many such incidents characterised by senseless acts of violence. There is therefore an urgent need in rural areas for a new and innovative strategy to prevent such attacks from occurring in the future and to ensure the speedy apprehension of perpetrators.
The DAs proposes a new approach to rural safety that will put the protection of all rural communities at the heart of its approach. The need for a new rural safety strategy is made even more acute by the fact that the commando system will be phased out by the government by 2009. In order to fill the vacuum left by the phasing out of the commando system, the DA proposes the following:
1. Measures to strengthen the SAPS area crime combating units and sector policing system in rural areas.
2. The establishment of a new specialised Border and Rural Safety Division within the SAPS.
3. The creation of a SAPS Rural Intelligence Centre.
4. Developing the post of Divisional Commissioner for Border and Rural Safety to coordinate these new structures.
The centre piece of the DA proposal is the creation of a SAPS Border and Rural Safety Division. This division will be directly accountable for all aspects of rural safety. One of its key functions will be the coordination of the 5 specialised rural reaction units and a rural intelligence centre. The rural intelligence centre will analyse crime trends in rural areas and then deploy one of the rural reactions units to where it is most needed. The members of these units will receive specialised paramilitary training that will enable them to stabilise an area in a short time and prevent further attacks. The DA’s plan will see these specialised units complement and strengthen, rather than compete with, the existing sector policing structures and area crime combating units in rural areas.
The budget for this new division will come from the SAPS crime prevention and operations budget and will require an initial allocation of between 100-150 SAPS members. The DA believes that this is a practical and sustainable plan that is absolutely critical in the fight against crime in South Africa’s rural heartland.