The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) can today reveal that almost a quarter – 23% – of the 380 cases in the province classified as attacks against farm workers, since 2000, involve rape.
The information forms part of a recent written parliamentary reply (view here) to questions submitted provincial Community Safety MEC, Bheki Ntuli. It also comes as the DA continues with its campaign to draw attention to the issue of rural and farm safety in a bid to pressure government into action.
The DA is deeply concerned by this staggeringly high figure which paints a bleak picture for female farm workers. Equally alarming is that of all cases reported since 2000, only 21 out of 88 ended in conviction. This worrying statistic is an indictment on justice and the fight against Gender-Based Violence.
The information further supports the DA’s claim that continuous under- resourcing of both the police and justice system along with the politicising of government appointments by the ANC, is failing rural and farming communities.
It is clear that radical intervention and real political will are required to bring peace and dignity to women in our farming communities. The DA therefore calls on KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, MEC, Bongiwe Sithole Moloi and provincial Community Safety MEC, Bheki Ntuli to do more to ensure the safety of our farming and rural communities is prioritised. This must include the declaration of farm attacks and murders as hate crimes. We further call on government to sufficiently resource and train police officials and stations based in the rural and semi-rural areas of the province.
The DA remains the only party in KZN to date that has put real solutions to rural and farm safety on the table. We are also the only party to have produced a credible plan in the form of a Rural Safety Strategy aimed at protecting farmers, farm workers and rural communities.
Our rural communities can no longer live in fear while government does nothing to help them.