Provincial Projects I 24-hour radio operational centre - Agri SAAgri SA

Provincial Projects

KWAZULU-NATAL

KZ261 Control centre

After various farm attacks in the Paulpietersburg area, the KZ261 Control centre was developed as a 24-hour telephonic/radio operational centre which is manned on a full-time basis.  The safety of the community is of major importance, and the services of the Control Centre are being expanded to serve the urban community and black emerging farmers with an SMS system in an effort to curb criminal activity.  The Fund made a financial contribution towards the purchase and installation of equipment in the centre with a view to offering a more effective service to the community.

Swartberg Stock Theft Prevention Association

 The Swartberg Stock Theft Prevention Association (STPA) was established in 1995 in an attempt to control stock theft as it posed a threat to the survival of many stock farmers. The primary responsibility of the STPA is to patrol the border area and to establish whether any livestock had crossed the border to Lesotho.  The STPA developed infrastructure, including a road along the border, erected fencing, lookout posts, etc.

With regard to the existing patrol of the border, a radio network was established to facilitate communication between farmers, the SAPS and Lesotho citizens.  The purpose of the network is to ensure that Lesotho citizens will immediately report stolen livestock.  In the Rhodes area, the same system was activated, which brought stock losses due to stock theft to zero over the past five years.  The STPA has already financed various radios with their own funds and thus also assists a nearby black community to recover their stolen animals.  The STPA wants to extend their network to offer wider coverage and the Trust Fund has made a contribution to the purchase of more radio’s.

Kwanalu: Security Desk

During May 1998, Kwanalu established a Security Desk to assist, inter alia, with the implementation and monitoring of the Rural Protection Plan in KwaZulu-Natal. The safety of the entire rural population remains one of Kwanalu’s key priorities and the organisation caters for the needs of both members and non-members in the province. The Security Desk is responsible to the Kwanalu Board of Directors and functions under management of the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer.

Nottingham Road: Radio Network

The service area of Loteni – Inzinga Farmers’ Association near Nottingham Road has recently experienced various crimes such as murder, housebreaking, theft, stock theft and vehicle hijacking. The farmers’ association established a police forum, which meets monthly and carries out patrols and road blocks in collaboration with the police. The greatest problem experienced by the association is poor communication. Cellphone reception is non-existent in the hilly area and telephones are regularly out of order. The Trust Fund made a contribution towards the installation of a radio network to improve the safety of the community in the area.

WESTERN CAPE

Purchase of a power generator

A rural protection plan is in place in the Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp area.  The area includes 192 producers, 38 smallholdings and approximately 20 000 farm workers and their families whose safety is affected by the plan.  The plan is managed by the GOUKOK and farm watch system.  Security initiatives such as information patrols and shifting roadblocks, are undertaken regularly and communication meetings are also held on an ongoing basis with members of the community.

The area is particularly vulnerable to crimes such as the theft of copper wire, aluminium irrigation pipes, vehicle and tractor batteries, and smuggling in liquor, mandrax and dagga.  Armed robbery, especially of cash wages, has also been reported.  Farm attacks and burglary of houses and storerooms are a cause for concern.

To implement the security initiatives of the rural protection plan, such as roadblocks, the Trust Fund donated a power generator to the community.

Purchase of laptop computers

The Overberg Commando’s area of responsibility includes more than 1 500 farms which are divided into 61 farm watch areas.  A process has started to capture on computer all relevant data relating to the area and its inhabitants and to co-ordinate farm visits accordingly.  Such data will shorten response times in the event of an emergency and will also help with the deployment of guards.  With the assistance of computers, satellite photos of the area can be stored on computer and place other operational information over it.

The laptops will facilitate co-ordination of security activities as well as the deployment of guards on the ground.  The computers will also be used to do presentations during training sessions on rural safety.  A contribution was made by the Trust Fund to purchase the laptops.

Financial contribution towards radio communication

The Breë River District Agricultural Union, Worcester Commando and the respective farm watches in the area had approached the Trust Fund for a financial contribution towards the implementation of a radio system that would benefit all role-players. There is no communication between the farm watches and the commando during operations executed in terms of the Rural Protection Plan. The commandos operate on a high band frequency, which makes it impossible to communicate with them. The Trust Fund made a financial contribution towards the hardware, which facilitates a link between the high and medium band radios, which in turn will benefit the broader community and improve communication relating to security matters.

Swellendam District Agricultural Association: Farm watch signboards

Swellendam District Agricultural Union has installed ten farm watch signboards in its district to promote rural safety. The purpose of these signs is to provide the area with a number system whereby response times can be shortened. A financial contribution was made towards the purchase of the boards.

Riversdal Rural Protection: Radios

Riversdal Rural Protection has approximately 500 members and serves an area of 3 600 square km, where the farm watch plays an active role by patrolling the area. There is also regular communication with the SAPS and commandos. The Trust Fund has donated a number of radios to Riversdal Rural Protection which the farm watch will use in the course of their duties. These radios should considerably improve the communication capacity of the farm watch and will contribute towards effective combating of crime in the area.

Malmesbury: Radio communication improved

The Swartland Commando in the Malmesbury district had no capacity to communicate with local farmers or the commandos and the SAPS during patrols and follow-up actions. The Trust Fund, in this case, made radios available to the farm watch to strengthen its command and control capacity, to improve communication and to facilitate effective co-ordination.

Vredendal: Information brochure on farm security

An information document was compiled by the commando and farm watch setting out the principles of rural protection within a single document. The information has already been tested and can be applied effectively at grassroots level. The following aspects, among others, are covered in the information document to which the Trust Fund made a contribution:

  • Advantages of rural protection;
  • Principles of rural protection;
  • Farm protection measures;
  • Contingency planning; and
  • Area protection.

Safety brochure

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The Area Rural Protection Committee of the Western Cape compiled a safety brochure with safety hints, legal aspects and suggestions for safeguarding hearth and home. This brochure was printed by the SA Navy and the costs were covered by the SANDF. Four thousand copies of the brochure were distributed to the rural community in the Western Cape. The Trust Fund made a financial contribution to the printing of these brochures.

GPS System

Agri Western Cape represents farmers within the province at provincial level and in Agri SA and, via its grassroots structures, is actively involved in the implementation of the Rural Protection Plan. It also serves at provincial level in the POCOC.   Agri Western Cape applied to the Board of Trustees for funds to purchase a Global Positioning System (GPS) that would be made available to commandos in the Western Cape to determine the longitude and latitude of all homesteads on farms and to capture such information on computer via  the GPS system. The advantage of a charted area is that response times are shortened in an emergency; the commando knows exactly where all occupied homes in its area are, and it facilitates control over contingencies such as the monitoring of alarms. The Board of Trustees approved this application

Swellendam: Farm Watch Radio

The Swellendam District Agricultural Association applied for funds to purchase a radio system that they wanted to install in the vehicle of the farm watch. The co-ordinator did not have a tradio for his vehicle to perform the co-ordinating function for six farm watches in the Swellendam and Buffelsjag River area. The radio will remain the property of the Swellendam District Agricultural Association and, as soon as another co-ordinator is appointed, the radio will be relocated.

FREESTATE

 Reddersburg Agriculture

 Reddersburg is situated approximately 50 km south of Bloemfontein on the N6 route to the Eastern Cape.  The route also carries traffic to Sterkspruit and Lesotho and runs through various farms in the district.  The district’s border is approximately 60 km from Lesotho and 30 km from Mangaung.  An informal settlement adjacent to the town continues to grow in numbers and unemployment is the order of the day.

Various veldfires have in the past broken out at the informal settlement and also along the N6.  Representations were addressed to the local police in this regard, which produced no results.  Various farm attacks have occurred in the area over the past few years without loss of life, but various people continue to bear scars from these incidents.  Theft is also prevalent in the area.

Communication takes place largely per telephone, which functions via a manual telephone exchange, with phones often being out of order because repairs are not effected in time.  Communication therefore takes place mainly via cellphone, but reception is not available everywhere given the topography.  Contact with the police via telephone is not always possible, resulting in slow response times.  Neither the farming community nor the town has a functioning civil defence organisation.  The Trust Fund made money available to set up a communication system for the community to assist in emergency cases.

Verkeerdevlei Agriculture

Verkeerdevlei is situated 70 km east of Bloemfontein adjacent to the N1 route from Johannesburg.  The N1 therefore runs through various farm properties in the district.  The area is also situated on the route between Welkom and ThabaNchu.  About 170 farm owners and their families, and about 300 farm workers live in the Verkeerdevlei district.  A growing informal settlement is situated in ThabaNchu, and unemployment is on the increase.

Veldfires from the informal settlement and along the N1 each year cause enormous damage in the district.  Farm attacks have also occurred in the district.  Communication takes place largely by way of a manual telephone exchange, which is not very reliable.  Cellphone communication is limited because of poor coverage throughout the entire district.  The rural community often has difficulty in reaching the police per telephone and telephones are not answered promptly, which results is slow response times.  The Trust Fund donated money to the community to set up a communication system.

Repeater:  Bothaville

The Fund made money available to Bothaville District Agricultural Union for the purchase of a repeater for Bothaville Security Services to improve the effectiveness of communication in the area.  A Safety Plan, involving the respective role-players, including organised agriculture and the police, was compiled to assist in the protection of the community.  With the repeater the communication capacity of the entire area could be improved.

Repeater:  Bethulie

The Bethulie District Farmers’ Union, an affiliate of Free State Agriculture, has applied for financial assistance for the installation of a radio repeater.

The purpose of installing a radio repeater is to improve the community’s communication capacity.  The topography of the area is uneven and it is well known for its poor communication.  This becomes worse towards the Orange and Caledon Rivers and also has an effect on cell phone reception in the area.  The Telkom infrastructure is very outdated and, given a lack of spares, it is difficult to maintain the infrastructure.  The radio relay system will be used mainly for communication purposes during a security threat, veld fires, stock theft and also for controlling problem animals.

The SANDF has already donated a tower with sun panels to the Farmers’ Union, but they do not have the funds to purchase the relay technology.  The Trust Fund donated a repeater.  The system that is being considered is compatible with the technology used by the police.

Repeater:  Smithfield

Smithfield Agriculture, an affiliate of Free State Agriculture, has applied for financial assistance with the installation of a radio repeater system.

The district has made good progress with the implementation of sector policing and two police officers have already been assigned per sector.  There is also an excellent working relationship between the police and the community.  Smithfield Agriculture has donated a radio to the police, which already promotes better communication with the community.  The farming community has already purchased radios with their own funds in order to improve communication.  Only licensed radios are used and the cost and maintenance of the radios are borne by Smithfield Agriculture.  To improve the communication capacity of the community, a repeater system was donated by the Trust Fund which would bring about a considerable improvement in existing radio communication with, amongst others, the police and members of the farming community

Funding of SMS Security System

Tweespruit Farmers’ Association had applied for financial assistance for the implementation of an SMS Security System to promote farm safety. Two farm attacks had occurred in that area, one of which was fatal.  The system has already been installed and works excellently in areas such as Senekal.  The system is activated by sending an SMS, pressing a panic button on a two-way radio, or via a Telkom landline.  The information is then further processed by means of a computer system to inform people who had been previously programmed of a specific security problem.  These people can then respond and provide assistance.  The Trust Fund contributed financially to the implementation of the system.

Assistance to orphans

Three children were orphaned after their parents were murdered in a farm attack in Ceres 11 years ago.  A request for financial support was received from Senekal Agriculture. The main needs were identified as follows:

  • Financial support to provide in the children’s needs;
  • Reconstructive medical treatment; and
  • Psychological treatment.

This request was also dealt with during Free State Agriculture’s Law and Order meeting.  The Board was requested to consider financial assistance regarding psychological counselling for the children.  The Trust Fund decided to assist the children with counselling if it was needed.

Reitz: Riemland Control Centre

Farm safety remains one of Riemland Control’s highest priorities and, with the technology already installed, the centre is well positioned to make a positive contribution towards activating various disciplines when an incident occurs. In order to accommodate the range of activities, the centre had to invest in computer and radio equipment. To facilitate and accelerate response to emergency calls, it is essential that all members are registered with Riemland Control so that the database can be updated on computer. The Riemland Control Centre is the CCC Centre for the entire eastern Free State, and co-ordinates actions taken by the Traffic Department, the SAPS, the Fire Brigade and the Emergency Services (EMS) for any eventuality where its services are needed. All parties whose help is needed at an accident scene or in impending disaster situations, including farm attacks, in the eastern Free State, are now deployed from and co-ordinated by Riemland Control in Reitz. With the expansion of the control room at Free State Co-op emergency services and assistance can be dispatched to a crime or accident scene within three minutes. The Trust Fund approved a contribution towards the financing of the required computer and radio equipment.

Senekal and Zastron: Control Centres

Both these districts have established control systems within security association context in each district. The control centres will be responsible for driving and monitoring the Rural Protection Plan within the particular district. In terms of the Plan all security-related aspects, such as personal alertness, homestead protection and physical safety are co-ordinated. The Protection Plan was developed for each district and was signed jointly by the SANDF, the SAPS and organised agriculture. Each farmer who joins the security association is visited on his farm where the content of a safety manual containing safety suggestions is explained to him in detail. An evaluation of the homestead is made to determine whether it meets the minimum security standards, and practical suggestions and recommendations are made to the farmer.. Regular follow-up visits are planned where each farmer’s own improvements are evaluated by the SANDF. The funds approved by the Trust Fund will be used mainly for the following: installation of a repeater and booster; the installation of antennae; upgrading of the software and console radios.

Bethlehem: Rural Control Centre

The centre was launched on 23 March 1998 and is currently financed with membership fees. This centre works closely with the SAPS and local commandos for swift response in any emergency. The SAPS has even allocated members to the centre in the event of an emergency. The centre offers the following services to farmers and members:

  • Serves the NEAR radio network in the area;
  • Monitors the national call channel as well as the 29 MHK Bridge B radio;
  • Monitors emergency telephone numbers for possible action; and
  • Keeps members’ information on computer for rapid response.

The most effective way to overcome the communication problem in the area is to install a relay station that will offer the farmer the necessary connection at an affordable price. Farmers, farm workers as well as farm schools are visited regularly by members of the commando and the SAPS. The Trust Fund made a contribution towards the financing of a repeater to improve communication.

Frankfort Agriculture: Emergency fund

During a farm attack on 22 June 2001 in the Frankfort district, Mr Ben du Plessis was shot five times. After the attack Mr du Plessis was is a serious condition and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Hoogland Clinic in Bethlehem where his condition stabilised over a period of two days. Because of financial problems he was unable to pay his premiums and his medical fund had lapsed. He therefore had no cover to pay the medical costs. This meant that he had to be removed from the intensive care unit and transferred to the Riemland Clinic in Frankfort. Mr du Plessis and his three sons are all memebers of organised agriculture. Frankfort Agriculture established an emergency fund to raise money to make provision for Mr du Plessis’ medical expenses as his condition was by no means satisfactory at that stage. The farmers’ association asked for contributions to cover Mr du Plessis’ existing medical expenses. The request was supported by Frankfort Agriculture and Free State Agriculture, both of which have already made a contribution to the emergency fund. The Trust Fund made a financial contribution to this fund.

Emergency reporting centre promotes awareness

 SecKrnstad The emergency reporting centre in Kroonstad aims to formulate an overall regional emergency plan with a substructure consisting of all emergency plans within the region.  The centre will also attempt to involve the community as a whole, the private sector and the government in order to create an alert community by using the facilities of the emergency reporting centre.

The entire region has access to cellphone and telephone services, and by making use of the speed dial facility and a panic button on land lines, the client can, by pressing a single button, make contact with the centre.  All personal details are captured on a computer and the client himself can identify all the role-players and interest groups that must assist him in the event of an emergency.  The SAPS and SANDF form an integral part of the centre’s activities. The funds allocated by the Trust Fund will be used to purchase equipment to improve the effectiveness of the centre.
Funding for Senekal: Security Control Centre

The Agri Securitas Trust Fund has presented Senekal Agriculture with a cheque to the amount of R35 232,84.  These funds will be used to operate the control room effectively.  Senekal Agriculture’s Security Association, which was founded about two years ago, currently has around 80 members.  Security situations in and around the house are regularly monitored and addressed.  To become a member, contact the secretary of the association, Tinus Oosthuizen, at 083 453 9324.  Various affordable membership options are available.  Dirk Bothma of RTS Senekal won the tender to implement the project, which includes the establishment of a repeater station as well as the improvement of communication.  As soon as the repeater is operational, a much wider area will be covered, even including the residents of Marquard, Clocolan and Ficksburg.

Boom gates:  Henderson Agricultural Association

 The region includes the Henderson valley and the Coverside area.  In light of the persistent farm attacks in the area and an increase in stock theft, it was decided to erect booms in the area to monitor the movement of vehicles.  The total area comprises 530km² and includes 45 farm owners as well as three schools, two police stations and a total population of approximately 1 200.  The erection of booms was approved by the MEC for Safety, Liaison and Transport on 17 February 2004.  The Trust Fund assisted financially to the installation of the gates.

Boom gates:  Upper Cathcart Farmers’ and Wool Growers’ Association

There are 22 farm owners and 8 other families living in the area, and each farm unit represents ±10 farm worker families with a total of approximately 1 400 people.  Many elderly people live in the area, which is a cause for concern for the association.  Various crimes take place in the area as well as a high incidence of stock theft.  In most cases the roads are used as access routes in the perpetration of crime.

An informal settlement is developing near Hogsback, with the potential of causing crime to escalate in the area.  The community believes the erection of the booms would serve as an effective deterrent for prospective criminals.  The Trust Fund assisted financially to the installation of the gates.

Boom gates:  Thomas River Farmers’ Association

The installation of boom gates is considered on the basis of a request received from farm workers who are constantly intimidated by criminals entering the area.  Profitable agricultural production is currently under pressure as a result of ongoing stock theft, which in turn has an adverse effect on the quality of life of the community.  From January 2001 to June 2003 total losses resulting from theft amounted to R1 266 570-00.

Farm attacks have also occurred in the area, and another source of concern for the community is the hunting of game with the use of dogs.  The total area that will be protected by the booms is approximately 31 000ha.  Two schools are situated in the area, while 19 farm owners, 126 farm workers and a total of 680 people live in the area.  The Trust Fund assisted financially to the installation of the gates.

Boom gates:  Swaershoek Agricultural Association

The Swaershoek area includes a part of the Somerset East and Pearston districts.  The area comprises approximately 72 000 ha with 24 landowners and around 150 farm workers living there.  The primary aim of erecting the booms is to improve the safety of all residents.  This is mainly a livestock and game-farming area, and stocktheft is on the increase.  With the establishment of indigenous game species, the booms could serve as a deterrent to poaching.

Approval was obtained from the MEC for Safety, Liaison and Transport on 25 September 2003 for the installation of the booms.  The Trust Fund assisted financially to the installation of the gates.

Boom gates:  Smaldeel Bavaria

Smaldeel Bavaria is situated in the Adelaide area of the Eastern Cape.  Approximately 2 000 people will benefit from the erection of the boom.  Repeated incidents of stocktheft, housebreaking and vehicle theft have occurred.  Since the area is adjacent to the Adelaide area where booms were erected, it has also benefited from the improved safety in the area.  Since the booms were erected, no vehicles have been stolen and few incidents of housebreaking and farm attacks have been reported.  The total community is positive about protecting the area by means of booms.  The public who travelling through the area are also positive.  Stocktheft has already declined by 70%.

The Adelaide police also report that there has been a significant drop in stocktheft and that the erection of booms is an effective initiative to protect the area.  The installation of the boom was approved on 14 October 2004 by the MEC for Safety, Liaison and Transport.  The Trust Fund assisted financially to the installation of the gates.

Laser Security Warning System:  Post Retief

 The Post Retief Conservation Area is situated in the Adelaide district of the Eastern Cape and includes 42 farmers, their farm workers and families.  The MEC for Provincial Safety and Transport approved the installation of booms in the area during 2004.  The Trust Fund has already allocated money for the installation of the booms.

Despite access control regarding the movement of vehicles in the area, the community continues to experience stock theft at certain points which are accessible by foot.  It was decided, in conjunction with the local police, to install a laser warning system at these points, which would then serve as early warning should possible criminals gain access to the area.  With the help of the system, the criminal could be apprehended, and in the long term the system could also serve as a deterrent.

Repeater System:  Birds River Agricultural Association

The Birds River Agricultural Association is a member of Agri Eastern Cape, which in turn is an affiliate of Agri SA.  The association has decided to install a repeater and radio system for their members.  The decision was made after various members expressed concern over the fact that they cannot communicate with each other in emergency situations such as veld fires and stock theft or when stolen vehicles have to be traced.  During a vehicle theft, this concern was confirmed when an appeal for help in tracing a vehicle had to be communicated per cell phone.  Various areas do not have cell phone reception, which delayed the process.  Money was donated for a repeater system.

Purchase of two-way radios:  Floukraal Agricultural Association

The association is situated exclusively in a farming community between Jamestown and Aliwal North.  Communication via Telkom landlines is poor and at times non-existent because the telephone lines are old and are often damaged by lightning, wind and rain.  Cell phone coverage is poor and not reliable in emerging situations.  Community protection takes place in an active manner and patrols are handled in conjunction with the police.  The police have Nearnett radios in their vehicles but are unable to contact farmers during patrols as the latter do not have radios.  Radios in the farmers’ vehicles would improve communication between the police and farmers.  It will also enable the farming community to communicate with their families and with each other during patrols.  The radios will also be used in fire fighting and to provide assistance in the event of natural disasters.  Funds were made available to purchase the radio’s.

Purchase of radios:  Clanville Agricultural Association

The agricultural association applied for financial assistance to purchase radios in order to promote emergency communication within the area.  At this stage no communication can take place between members during emergency situations except per landline telephone.  Cell phone reception in the area is also very limited.  Regular disruptions in landline communication hamper communication in emergency situations.  At present no members have radios for communication purposes.  The effective implementation of sector policing is also not possible without communication since it would be impossible to make contact with fellow reservists and police stations.  These radio’s were donated to the community.

Post Retief Farmers’s Association: Access control  project

The Post Retief conservation area comprises approximately 100 000 ha and is home to almost 4 000 people. The farmers’ association exercises access control by means of booms in the area. Members in the area have already erected guardhouses. There is a need for financial assistance to install lighting, road signs, electricity and booms. The Board of Trustees approved an amount for the establishment of the conservation area.

Encoded name boards in the Uitenghage, Wolfontein and Kei Mouth areas

Response time is extremely important during any form of emergency, whether veld fires, floods or farm attacks. By installing encoded name boards in the Uitenhage, Wolfontein and Kei Mouth areas, farms are provided with cides and numbers according to a map in the Operational Room of the SAPS and commandos, which will make it easier to identify them and thus shorten response times.

Winterberg Bavaria: Electric booms

Two electric booms at a cost of R180 000 were installed by the Winterberg Farmers’Association to control access to the area. The area served by the booms comprises approximately 86 000 ha and includes 25 farmers as well asapproximately 1 000 people who work and live in the area. Not only the farming community will benefit from the booms, but also farm workers and their dependants. The information gathered by the camera at the boom is stored in a computer and is made available to the SAPS on a continuous basis. Traffic flow in the area has dropped by 45 %.

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The purpose of the booms is to control vehicle access to and from the area on a 24-hour basis. The booms are controlled electronically by means of a monitoring and video camera system. The SAPS welcomed the initiative and also has access to the video material should they need it in their investigations. The installation of the booms was approved by Mr D Neer, the MEC for Safety and Security in the Eastern Cape.

Safety Brochure

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Agri Eastern Cape, in collaboration with the SAPS and the SANDF Joint Regional Taskforce South, compiled a safety brochure that was distributed among the rural community in the Eastern Cape. This brochure contains information regarding hearth-and-home protection, useful hints to prevent a farm attack, and emergency numbers that can be called in the event of an emergency to ensure rapid response.
The purpose of this brochure is to act proactively and preventatively by informing the rural community about aspects that should be taken into account to ensure their safety. The Agri Securitas Trust Fund contributed financially to the compilation and printing costs of this brochure.

Baviaans Bavaria: Access control system

The Baviaans conservation area falls under the management of the Bedford Farmers’ Association. The Bavaria has already installed booms along the Baviaans River Road between Bedford and Tarkastad, which function effectively. The traffic through the area has already been reduced by 30%, with a positive effect on curbing stock theft and poaching. Various other crimes occur in the area and the road between the Transkei and Port Elizabeth is known as the “dagga run”. The Bavaria covers an area of approximately 90 000 ha and consists of 27 members. Approximately 200 farm workers and their families form part of the conservation area. The Trust Fund contributed financially towards the establishment of the Bavaria.

Financial assistance

Mr and Mrs J P Jordaan of the farm Pendery in the Burgersdorp district was attacked by an unknown black man with a spade and scythe outside their farmhouse at 06:45 on 2 December 2000. Mr and Mrs Jordaan, aged 76 and 69 respectively, are pensioners and active members of Agri Eastern Cape. During the attack the couple sustained serious head and facial injuries and had to receive medical treatment. The couple are needy and could not afford medical aid premiums, and also do not have the financial means to cover the medical costs incurred as a result of the attack. Their spectacles, which were broken during the attack, were covered by insurance, but the cost of consultations, medication and dental services, which were urgently needed, was beyond their means. A financial contribution was made to their medical expenses.

Adelaide Agricultural Association: Bavaria established to control access to the area

The Adelaide Agricultural Association has established a conservation area comprising 140 000 ha.  The main purpose of the Bavaria is to control access to the area and, in the process, proactively ensure the safety of farm dwellers, including farm workers. With access control an attempt will also be made to curb stock and game theft as well as the theft of vehicles. The Trust Fund made a contribution to the installation of infrastructure to safeguard the area.

Hilton Bavaria: Booms for access control

The Hilton Conservation Area comprises approximately 90 000 ha, extending from Queenstown southward to Cathcart along the Ciskei border.  The conservation area was established because the farming community was subjected to a high incidence of theft, robbery, farm attacks and poaching.  Since the establishment of the bavaria on November 1994, sheep theft, for example, dropped to the lowest level in 30 years.

The bavaria is run in close co-operation with the local police and defence force.  Various members of the bavaria are police reservists and commando members.  Two booms are already in operation and the installation of a further five is planned.  The implementation of the bavaria and booms has the approval of the entire community, as indicated by the resolution adopted at a meeting in September 2002 in Queenstown.  The meeting was also attended by the Office of the MEC for Transport situated in Bisho.  The installation of the booms was also approved by Bisho, which makes the installation legal.

Tylden Bavaria: Booms to combat crime

The Tylden Conservation Area comprises 20 000 ha and lies adjacent to the Hilton Conservation Area.  The area was established because the farming community was subjected to a high incidence of stock theft, robbery, farm attacks and poaching.  With the planned booms, the community believes it can bring about an improvement in the crime situation in the area.  Fourteen farmers and their farm workers as well as the Goshen community are involved in the bavaria.

The plan is to instal three booms for the area at a cost of R70 000-00 each.  The booms will be erected along the Whittlesen/Raglan road, the Waqu/Tylden road and the Tylden/Queenstown road.  The implementation of the bavaria and booms enjoys the approval of the entire community according to a resolution adopted at a meeting held in September 2002 in Queenstown.  The meeting was also attended by the Office of the MEC for Transport situated in Bisho.  The installation of the booms was also approved by Bisho, which makes the implementation thereof legal.

Jansenville: Booms secure communities

The Trust Fund has allocated funds for the installation of booms in the Jansenville and Samekomst area.  The area to be monitored by the booms comprises 145 000 ha where 93 landowners and 425 farm workers live.  The motivation for the erection of booms is to monitor access control and, in the process, address the crime situation in the interest of the community.   With the booms a further attempt will be made to combat livestock and vehicle theft and to prevent poaching.  The entire community was in favour of the installation of both booms, which have been approved by the MEC for Provincial Safety in the Eastern Cape Province.

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Radios:  Agri Middelburg

Agri Middelburg, a member of Agri Mpumalanga, applied for financial assistance for the purchase of radios for Uitkyk Disaster Management.  Uitkyk Disaster Management is a community-driven organisation that services the total community north of Middelburg to prevent man-made and natural disasters.  The organisation also makes up the biggest part of the community protection effort and is a pioneer in terms of implementing sector policing in Middelburg.  It is largely a rural area with little if any telephone of cellphone coverage.  Effective communication in the area therefore remains a serious problem.  The only effective way of communicating in emergency situations is per radio and funds were made available to purchase radio’s.

Signboards for the Schagen/Alkmaar Farming Community

The Schagen Security Committee has started to identify all the routes in the farming area of Schagen en Alkmaar.  The purpose of this is to shorten the reaction time of the police in the event of emergencies so that they can respond swiftly to security threats.  These signboards will also serve as a deterrent for prospective criminals since it illustrates the level of alertness of the community.  The Trust Fund made a financial contribution towards these signboards.

Watervalsrivier Farmers’ Association

The farmers’ association is situated in a valley near Burgersfort, with the R37 main road between Lydenburg and Burgersfort running through the valley.  The area is surrounded by mountains, which limits access to the area, thus making policing easier.  The Lydenburg Commando has been dissolved in March 2007 and will, according to the request, leave the rural areas vulnerable to crime.  The valley area is registered as a policing sector, but the community enjoys very little support from the police.  Various farmers living in the valley joined the police reservists in 1993.  During 2005, a further 24 people joined as reservists, but their applications have not yet been finalised.  The community has a well-established reaction group and a patrol service which operates on a daily basis.  The entire community contributes to the cost of the patrol service and to the administration thereof.  Two vehicles patrol the area daily and planning in conjunction with the local police will take place on a monthly basis.  A report will be submitted to the police on a monthy basis.  In emergencies, the three access routes are blocked.  The patrol service is already active, but the community needs equipment to improve visibility during operations.  The Trust Fund financially assisted in the purchasing of bullet-proof vests, search lights, traffic markers, roadblock warning signs, as well as stop and police signs.

White River: Number system for sign boards on farms

Recently the White River district has been one of the worst hit districts in the country in terms of farm attacks. The problem is a source of concern for farmers, who, in conjunction with the SAPS and commando, have started to number all farms and smallholdings in the district in accordance with a code system whereby the response time of security forces can be shortened. Farmers in the district now work with the commando, and there are commando members who patrol the district on a regular basis. On the eastern border, the district lies adjacent to an informal settlement from which farm attacks have been launched in the past. The Trust Fund approved an amount for the purchase of the boards.

Schagen Security

Schagen Security was established on 24 August 1998 in the Nelspruit area as a result of escalating crime in the country and a growing incidence of farm attacks in the area. A control room was set up where the personal details of all the inhabitants are kept, as well as maps indicating access routes and the location of homesteads. The main purpose is to secure the whole area for all residents, whether employers or employees. The Trust Fund made a financial contribution towards the purchase of bullet-proof and reflective jackets, warning signs, searchlights and the erection of a relay station via which Schagen could carry out its own security procedures.

Photographic equipment promotes law enforcement

 SecMpuma

The SAPS Detection Services in Mpumalanga has applied for the funding of digital cameras to be used at crime scenes.  A lack of suitable equipment hampers detectives’ work, especially the capturing of evidence at the crime scene.

This equipment will be used at crime scenes such as in the case of a farm attack where important evidence can be collected and could serve as evidence during court proceedings.  The equipment could also be used to identify stolen livestock or for photographing crime scenes where gruesome massacres, severed hocks, trace samples and other clues can be photographed.  According to public prosecutors, heavier sentences could be imposed if photographic evidence is submitted to the court.

NORTHERN CAPE

Roadblock equipment

The Trust Fund has funded roadblock equipment for the Griquastad/Groot River Farmer Association so that the SAPS can combat crime on a preventative basis.  This equipment will be used in roadblock and proactive operations, especially to combat stock theft.

Kimberley:  SAPS

 Three Pulnix stock theft monitoring systems were donated to the SAPS in Kimberley to monitor and prevent stock theft.

Koopmansfontein Farmers’ Association: Security signboards

The Koopmansfontein Farmers’ Association in the Northern Cape has erected signboards in the farmer association’s service area. Various mines are currently active in the area, and vehicles and strangers are constantly entering the area, which presents a security risk for the farming community. The purpose of these boards is to warn people that it is private property and that trespassers would be prosecuted, and in the process, reduce the security risk for the farming community.

Volop and Niekerkshoop Farmers’ Associations: Set of call signals

In striving for better co-ordination of security actions at grassroots level, the Volop and Niekerkshoop Farmers’ Associations developed a set of call signals and farm numbers whereby response time could be shortened in emergency situations. The call signals and farm numbers are painted on the roof of homesteads, which makes them easily visible from the air and the road. The Trust Fund made a contribution towards the purchase of paint used for painting the numbers.

Hopetown Commando: Radio system

The Hopetown Commando serves the Hopetown and Strydenburg communities and has an active and well-organised farm protection system in place. The area is divided into eight sectors according to the different farmer associations in the area. Every month a Joint Operational Co-ordinating Committee (JOCOC)  meeting is held which is attended by each sector leader or farmer association and other role-players. The commando urgently needs a Marnet radio to serve the excellent Marnet network in the area. Communication amongst farmers is good but the commando, due to a lack of funds, is unable to purchase a radio to communicate with the community. The commando does not have a command and control function, which hampers their actions and delays response time. The Trust Fund donated a Bantam MK radio to the commando to improve their communication capacity.

Stock theft monitoring system

The Pulnix system is used to combat stock theft in the Northern Cape.  The system is installed along the access route of criminals and is effective up to a distance of 300m. As soon as the infrared sensor is activated, an alarm goes off at the following points:

  • Per radio transmitter to the relevant SAPS station, after which the investigating officer is informed that the alarm has been activated;
  • Per radio transmitter to the hand-held radio or car radio; and
  • Per cellphone to the investigating officer.

The advantage of the system is that SAPS manpower can be used more effectively. Stock theft units no longer have to lie in wait as the device performs this function. Various successes have already been achieved with this system in the Northern Cape, where stock thieves have been caught. The device will remain the property of the Northern Cape Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO) and will be operated by the SAPS’s Technical Services division. The RPO will be provided with regular feedback at their stock theft meetings regarding the success achieved in using the device.

 NORTH WEST

 Group 20: Multimedia projector to be used in rural safety presentations

Group 20 is situated in Mafikeng in the North West Province and has eight commandos with two AOCOC’s, viz. Marico and Malopo, under its control. The training component of Group 20 is responsible for preparing the security forces. Various lectures are offered and presentations are made on a regular basis. This training is provided regularly to commandos and other groups, including organised agriculture. The presentations include visual presentations relating to farm attacks and battle indications aimed at precautionary measures. In these presentations use is made of photos and visuals to offer pro-active suggestions as to how farm attacks could be prevented. Another responsibility of Group 20 is to secure the international border between South Africa and Botswana which includes eight border posts. All the border posts are used to prevent access to criminals. Group 20 had approached the Trust Fund for financing to instal a multimedia projector that will be used in presentations on rural safety.

Delareyville Communciation Centre

The centre was opened on 11 October 2001 and serves the rural community in the Delareyville en Sannieshof area.  It performs the role of an early warning centre where veld fires, farm attacks and suspicious vehicles can be reported, and from where farmers can inform the SAPS and commando so that the necessary steps can be taken. The centre also functions under the control of the JOCOC committee. The Trust Fund donated the following equipment: a computer and printer; and a 2.7kv emergency generator.

GAUTENG

Radios:  Bloekomspruit Farmers Association

Bloekomspruit Farmers’ Association, an affiliate of Agri Gauteng, functions within the Burg B system of Heidelberg.  This area is divided into wards.  Each ward is managed by a ward head, assisted by a ward manager, to deal with communication, fire, security, traffic and social support.  As a result of an increase in incidents involving stock theft, malicious damage to property and sporadic arson, a patrol system was implemented in the area.  The ward members patrol the area on a daily basis according to a predetermined timetable and route.  It is of utmost importance that members who patrol the area have contact with other farmers in the event of incidents.  The SAPS provides support to the community with regard to enquiries relating to suspicious-looking vehicles and assistance during incidents.  During these patrols, the following successes have been achieved:

  • The exposure of dagga-smuggling syndicates;
  • Arresting of people involved in sheep theft;
  • Reporting of various veld fires started by youths;
  • Arresting of poachers

The communication allowed on the radios will relate only to safety aspects and fire-fighting.  The radios will at all times be monitored at the local police station and by the communication chief who is also the head of Burg B, and if any person were to use it for private purposes, he will immediately be reprimanded by the communication chief.  With the radios communication can take place between members and a ward when responding to an emergency situation.  The Trust Fund made money available for the purchase of radio’s.

LIMPOPO

Radios:  Bosveld Branch

The rising trend in crime in the Limpopo province has compelled the Bosveld branch of Agri Limpopo to give serious attention to the security structures of its members.  The biggest problem in the area occurs between Tom Burke and Platjan because of the large number of illegal immigrants entering the area, which in turn presents a security risk for the farming community as a whole.  To improve the community’s emergency communication, the Trust Fund made a contribution towards the purchase of radios, which have already been used with success in combating crime.

Financial assistance for rural protection:  Soutpansberg DAU

The Soutpansberg District Agricultural Union (DAU), which is a member of the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU SA) has applied for funding to purchase equipment that would be used in rural protection actions.  According to TAU SA, the DAU has a well-developed security structure which the farming community operates within the boundaries of the DAU.   Where necessary, all actions take place in consultation with the SAPS unless, according to the TAU SA, such action is of an urgent nature.  The relevant legislation dictates the action of the individuals involved.