DA Welcomes Premier’s Support for Rural Safety Units

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the sentiments of Premier David Mabuza, who has expressed his support for the establishment of rural safety units in Mpumalanga, and that he has done so publically, following the meeting between us on Tuesday (3 July 2012).

The DA has consistently called for the establishment of such rural safety units, especially in the aftermath of the murder of baby Wiehan Botes and Ms Margrietha de Goede in Delmas, and the several farm attacks experienced in the province recently.

We firmly believe that government has failed to ensure the safety of citizens, especially those living and working in rural areas. During our discussions, premier Mabuza said “The farmers are doing a good job of producing food that is needed by the country and the world; therefore we cannot afford not to protect even a single farmer because losing a farmer is quite costly even on our food basket”. This is the first time that government has unequivocally acknowledged the role of farmers in the province, and taken their safety seriously.

We further acknowledge, and welcome Mabuza’s commitment to consider the DA’s proposals on the establishment of a specialised land intervention unit to deal with illegal land occupations. Our proposals for the establishment of a land intervention unit, flows directly from the recent calls by ANCYL deputy President, Ronald Lamola to declare “…a forceful act of war” against farmers. A call which was also condemned as “irresponsible” by premier Mabuza.

While the DA acknowledges the positive spirit within which our meeting with the Premier took place, the real success of our discussions lie in the implementation of the agreements reached. We will continue to engage government, while at the same time exercise our mandate of monitoring and oversight, and trust that the premier will regard this engagement as a sincere effort to understand the divergence of our province, to make a constructive contribution to the province and all who live in it.

Media enquiries:

Anthony Benadie MPL

083 400 8554

Willie Venter

Provincial media liaison

082 319 6666

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