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Government fails crime-ridden Lesotho border farmers

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Illegal activities and crimes that adversely affect the safety of every farmer, their families and workers located near the southern Lesotho border area were discussed during Free State Agriculture (FSA)’s visit to the area on 2 November 2022.  Emerging as well as commercial farmers, who are being targeted by cross border criminality, attended together with officials from the SAPS, SANDF and Border Management Authority (BMA).

Jakkals le Roux, chairperson of FSA’s Rural Safety committee, says that the organisation has already made several requests to the government and MEC’s of Roads, Transport and Police in the past 3-4 years to be helpful in order to rehabilitate the 18-20km border road for it to be passable for law enforcement to provide the necessary border protection and also launch preventive operations. This has by no means materialized, and the activities of the Department of Public Works to erect a border road and fence, have by no means gotten off the ground.

Farmers in the Klaarwater/ Spring Valley/ Boesmanskop area, along the Southern Lesotho border, are beyond despondent as this area is a transit route for suspected stolen goods and especially livestock to Lesotho. The impassable border road on which operations and patrols by the SANDF, SAPS, BMA and farmers must take place cannot materialize.

“We want to highlight the plight of these forgotten communities and the failure of the government’s constitutional obligation towards rural areas and farming communities.” says le Roux.