Despite allegations that farm attacks are the lowest in 20 years, AfriForum’s verified statistics show that there has been an increase over the past four years. Only in 2018 there were almost 200 attacks, and we are not even halfway through the year. Current murder tendencies also indicate that we will lose more people on farms than in the past three years if each year is measured separately.
“Our figures clearly show that there is an increase in farm attacks throughout the country; to say that the numbers are low or even the lowest in two decades is a misrepresentation that is being offered to the public,” said Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s head of community safety.
According to organised agriculture, there were almost 54 more farm attacks in 2017 than in 2016. Consolidated figures of AfriForum, the TAU SA and the South African Police Service (SAPS) showed a definite increase over the past four years. It is undesirable to compare numbers only over 20 years, because these change as a result of the drastic trend differences that occur when political leadership, police management and general crime trends change.
“Particular attention should be paid to the fact that the South African public’s focus on farm attacks has increased over the past few years. By applying pressure on government departments during this period, the reporting process regarding farm attacks has been strengthened by the SAPS and the figures for the past five years may be seen as an accurate reflection of the types of crimes,” said Lorraine Claasen, a crime analyst at the AfriForum Research Institute (ANI).
Claasen added that the current situation in terms of cases that are reported should be addressed because the situation and context in our country have changed drastically over the past 20 years. “Rather, conscious efforts must be made to use current figures that can determine trends in order to act proactively and reduce farm attacks,” she said.
AfriForum and ANI will launch the 2017/2018 Farm Attack Report at the end of July 2018.