Anthony Benadie MPL
DA Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza is reducing critical discussions on rural security to little more than cheap talk shops, with no action coming from his own commitments to establish rural safety units.
On 3 July, during a meeting with the DA, Premier Mabuza expressed his support for the establishment of rural safety units and shared our sentiments that increased rural security was essential. In fact, after our meeting the Premier issued a statement in which he said “therefore we cannot afford not to protect even a single farmer because losing a farmer is quite costly even on our food basket”.
However, since then, the Premier has failed to take even a single step to ensure rural safety units are established. The failure by Premier Mabuza to act on his commitment reinforces the notion that citizens are ultimately responsible for their own security. By so doing, the premier must not be surprised when communities start organising themselves into armed self-defence units, in an attempt to protect themselves and their families, due to government failures.
Rural communities in the Limpopo Province have successfully established their own security organisations, and through effective partnership with local police, dramatically reduced farm attacks and land invasions. Police in Gauteng have also established rural safety units who have also enjoyed dramatic success in increasing rural security in smallholding communities.
To this end, the DA will now directly engage with provincial police commissioner Lt Gen Thulani Ntobela, and request him to establish a rural safety directorate in the province, whose specialised personnel will work closely with regular police and rural community safety organisations, and return safety to the province’s rural areas. We will present Lt Gen Ntobela with the DA’s rural safety plan, which clearly details the training, equipment and deployment of such specialised personnel and we will continue our fight to make Mpumalanga safe.
It is our hope, that through our efforts and cooperation with the police that people living in rural communities will finally live their lives without fear.
Gauteng Rural Safety Units: