Following the Western Cape Government’s call to Farm Watches to apply for accreditation, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited Redelinghuys in the Bergrivier Municipality where he handed over a ‘Starter Kit” to the Redelinghuys Farm Watch.
The “Starter Kit” consists of reflective vests, torches, strobe lights for the vehicles, magnetic decals, a first aid kit, PPE, a fire extinguisher, whistles and a storage box.
The Redelinghuys Farm Watch enjoys support from the local agricultural sector and the Bergrivier Municipality.
Commenting on his visit, Minister Meyer said: ” Rural safety is a priority for the Western Cape Government. I am pleased with the support the Redelinghuys Farm Watch receives from the Agriculture sector and the Berg River Municipality.”
“The R800 000 the municipality has allocated to rural safety complements the support provided by the Western Cape Government and the Agriculture sector”, adds Meyer.
Through surveillance cameras and related technology, the Redelinghuys Farm Watch covers over 1800 square km.
Chairperson of the Redelinghuys Farm Watch, Francois de Jager, highlights that dedicated community members form the backbone of the Farm Watch.
“While technology certainly makes a difference, at the heart of any Farm Watch lies hardworking community-orientated individuals who are committed to serving their community. Members combatting crime through patrols, fighting veld fires and providing basic first aid at road accidents remains an important part of what we do,” says de Jager.
Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Frtiz, has in the interim reiterated his call for Farm Watches to become accredited.
Minister Fritz: “I call on all street, block, Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) and Farm Watches to become accredited with the Department of Community Safety. We ask NHWs to ensure that they are accredited as this allows this Department to support those community stakeholders who volunteer their spare time for the good of their community. The accreditation certificate is valid for two years. It must be renewed three months before it expires so that the accreditation doesn’t lapse.”
Minister Fritz continued, “There are many benefits to accreditation. Upon being accredited, NHWs receive a starter kit consisting of essential materials such as Reflective vests, Torches, Strobe lights for the vehicles, magnetic decals, first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, safety whistles, amongst others. A payment of R10 000 is also made to assist with their operational and administration costs. The Department provides accredited NHWs with a free of charge two-day basic NHW training course. The training focusses on patrolling, the NHW code, community mapping, safety audits, and other essential areas.”