Tensions between farm workers, residents and owners has escalated to the point where KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala will address communities in Normandien in a live broadcast.
Zikalala reported that government was addressing allegations of attacks on community members at the forefront of challenging the Nkunzana Communal Trust.
Other residents are being accused of colluding with “white farmers” who sold farms to black communities.
The “instability” in the province’s farming communities stretch from Vryheid to Normandien.
Zikalala visited Gluckstad in Vryheid on Saturday to address issues facing the community.
Today we had a very fruitful engagement with farming communities in KZN about the challenges they are facing.
We are already working towards bringing solutions on several issues they raised. pic.twitter.com/mebEzFKA4g
— Premier Sihle Zikalala (@sziks) April 10, 2021
“The Premier will facilitate the improvement of relations and peaceful co-existence within the farming communities”, Zikalala’s office said.
“The engagements will also outline accountability approaches taken by the KZN government in addressing reported human rights violations and abuses within the farming communities in the province.
“Government will also use the occasions to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the farming communities and remember the citizens residing in the KZN farming communities who have perished as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.”
Statistics released by the province last year revealed that since 2000, 380 farm workers had been attacked – more than farmers, of which 372 were attacked.
According to the DA, 23% of the attacks against farm workers involved rape.
A total of 119 farm workers have been murdered since 2000. 87 farmers were murdered in the same period.
The party called on Zikalala, MEC Bongiwe Sithole Moloi and provincial community safety MEC Bheki Ntuli to declare farm attacks and murders as gate crimes, and for police based in rural areas to be better equipped.
Watch the live coverage of Zikalala’s address below:
LIVE STREAM | Premier Sihle Zikalala Engages with Farming Communities in Normandien https://t.co/yDt5bUkkZo
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) April 11, 2021