The overall purpose of the Rural Development Programme is to coordinate the developmental programmes by stakeholders in rural areas.
Our work comprises and is centred on integrated service delivery, working with different stakeholders towards developmental initiatives inclusive of rural agricultural areas, the facilitation of access to government services and the promotion of rural safety for a safer and secure agricultural environment for a sustained food supply.
The Programme has three (3) sub-programmes namely:
- Rural Development Coordination
- Social Facilitation
- Farm Worker Development
The purpose of this sub-programme is initiate, plan and monitor development in rural areas across the three spheres of government, in order to address needs that have been identified.
A key functional output for this sub-programme is the institutionalisation of the Regional Coordination Committees (RCCs) that provides a platform for all government departments (national and provincial) as well as district and local municipalities, together with agricultural stakeholders and community representatives, to meet on a quarterly basis to discuss opportunities, challenges and solutions to developmental initiatives within the rural areas and across the agricultural sector. This approach links directly to the Joint District Approach (JDA) model for joint planning and implementation of governmental services.
The purpose of this sub-programme is to engage and support communities on priorities identified.
The key focus is on empowering the agricultural community, inclusive of the youth, agri workers, etc through targeted skills and capacity building interventions so to improve the socio-economic conditions of the agricultural community. These interventions are rolled-out during specific quarters and include programmes, i.e. financial literacy, job readiness, development of a CV, entrepreneurship, amongst others, etc.
The purpose of this sub-programme is to enhance the image and the socio-economic conditions of agri workers and their families, through facilitation of training and development initiatives, in order to improve their quality of life.
Collaboration with industry partners and other government departments, has been pivotal in ensuring access to government services for agri workers and rural communities, addressing and stabilsing potential volatility related to labour matters as well as promoting ethical practice on farms, ultimately contributing to international market accessibility. The sub-programme also investigates housing conditions and unfair labour practices of agri workers on farms, as well as ensuring access to services through the referral system.
Minister Ivan Meyer, upon his appointment as Minister of Agriculture, outlined his five priorities for his term of office. The Department then set about institutionalising these in order to determine what the intended outcomes are for each, the outputs attached to each, and more significantly the assessment of what constitutes success in relation to each of these priorities.
The realisation of safe and cohesive communities is an imperative, as crime and fragmented communities reduce the life chances and opportunities of individuals, further destabilises communities in a vicious cycle, and hinder socio-economic and personal development. The lack of economic opportunities and high youth unemployment levels, for instance, increase the risk of a young person succumbing to criminal behaviour. Improvements in safety, on the other hand, can reduce personal risks to the workforce, encourage investment, and boost tourism that would support the economy.
Education and freedom from violence are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Safe and cohesive communities would allow learners to attend school in a safe context, and a reduction in violence experienced by learners would allow them to fulfil their true potential. Violent crime places a heavy burden on state-funded health, criminal justice, and social welfare systems. A reduction in violence would pay societal dividends by negating harm to individuals’ physical, emotional, social, and cognitive health and well-being. The impact of a lack of safety across all sectors and all levels, whether it be individual, relationship, community or societal, is substantial. Creating safe spaces, however, goes beyond sectors and levels. It speaks to the very core of our foundational values of dignity, equality, and freedom. A person’s freedom and dignity cannot be fully realised if she/he lives in fear for their safety. The Constitution places an obligation on all spheres of government to protect, promote, and realise an individual’s right to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources. The national government, through its responsibility for courts, administration of justice, and the security services, plays an important role. The role of the provincial government is that of oversight and facilitation. Equally, the local government has an obligation to promote a safe and healthy environment through law enforcement, town planning, and creating a safe and enabling environment for people to live, work and play. Our farmers and agric workers, as the agents to enable our food security, deserve to be acknowledged, appreciated and protected. As long as our producers live in fear, and are attacked without reason, the nation will suffer. Sustainable agriculture is dependent on sustainable production. That is why Rural Safety is a Ministerial priority within this Department.
B. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM
Inadequate rural safety and security
Prevalence of crime/lawlessness in general and a declining rural safety environment
High crime levels and an increase in farm attacks compromises and undermines the safety of producers and agri workers
Inadequate and or weak rural safety structures to deter criminal activities has an adverse impact on the ability of the sector to create jobs, enable a sustained food supply and to sustain a growing agricultural economy
C. WHAT IS OUR EXPECTED OUTCOME AND OUTPUTS
|OUR EXPECTED OUTCOME||OUR ANNUAL OUTPUTS|
D. WHAT ARE THE RISKS
Competing mandates regarding law enforcement and lack to effectively drive rural safety by stakeholders
Structural challenges and limitations of rural safety mandate between SAPS and DoCS
Uncoordinated responses to rural safety or crime.
Breakdown of trust amongst producers, agri workers and oversight bodies
Dysfunctional safety structures.
INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON RURAL SAFETY
The recently held Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on rural safety, firmly laid the foundation for an integrated approach to a safer and more secure rural environment in the province. Stakeholders had exchanged information on neighbourhood watches, farm watches, budget allocations made to municipalities towards their rural safety plans, as well as the key issues raised through proposals received from citizens to the Department on their views regarding rural safety.
The Department had its Technical Rural Safety Committee meeting on 31 July 2020, where stakeholders, amongst others, SAPS, DoCS, City of Cape Town, AFASA, Agri- Weskaap and other partners, deliberated as a collective on all matters relating to rural safety.
The Department is also in the process of establishing a Rural Safety Desk within the Programme: Rural Development and has started discussions with the Provincial Data Office (DotP) as to the modalities regarding the envisaged dashboard to be hosted by CEI-DotP, as a tool for the tracking of all reported rural safety related cases.
The buy-in and commitment from all stakeholders will go a long way to ensure an overall improved and protected agricultural environment
TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON RURAL SAFETY
Furthermore, at the Technical Rural Safety Committee meeting held on 31 July 2020, stakeholders also engaged on the importance of relevant safety structures such as neighbourhood watches and farm watches and their role and valuable contribution to a more safe rural agricultural environment.
Minister Ivan Meyer hands over Starter Kit to Redelinghuys Farm Watch
The meeting also discussed the call for proposals on rural safety as received from the public and agricultural stakeholders.
A total of twenty-nine (29) proposals were received from the public via email and social media. These proposals differed vastly in terms of suggestions and ideas and were mainly in terms of:
improving law enforcement and visible policing;
placement of bodyguards and “army soldiers” / law enforcement on farms;
create a database of all people working and living on farms;
“Information-sharing app” which can be accessed by all farmers/farming community;
to improve communication between farmers and law enforcement;
investigate reasons for increased crime in rural areas;
put interventions in place to assist with drug and alcohol abuse;
interventions to uplift education levels;
entrepreneurship interventions to aid the employment of people in rural areas; this may help to reduce crime;
CCTV cameras to be placed on farms and along roads in the areas;
to use drone technology as part of security surveillance; and
no releasing of prisoners on parole
The proposals were discussed with a view to determine proposed actions and to make recommendations. The proposed actions will take cognizance of and be aligned to the Provincial Rural Safety Strategy and the National Rural Safety Plan within the context of related policy frameworks insofar rural safety.
For more information on Neighbourhood Watches:
- Members of the public can email Neighbourhood.Watch@westerncape.gov.za to make an appointment.
- Operating hours are from 07:30 - 16:00
- Appointments will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis.
- No walk-ins will be allowed as meeting rooms must be arranged in advance.