South Africa: Premier Sihle Zikalala Engages With Newcastle Farming Community On the Rise in Farm Killings, 19 Sept

press release

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala will lead a high powered Provincial Government delegation to Amajuba District to engage with the farming community on the rise in farm killings in the province.

The visit by the Premier, who will be accompanied by Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi and other senior government officials follows the recent brutal murder of a farming couple in Nornandien area.

Premier Zikalala will visit Newcastle on Saturday, 19 September 2020, to engage with farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers on various issued around the safety of the farming community in the area.

The recent brutal killing of farming couple, Glen and Vida Rafferty, has not only sent shockwaves throughout the province but also laid bare the menacing and festering tensions constantly engulfing the farming communities in the area and other areas in the province.

About three years ago, the Normandien area came under the spotlight when tensions between farm workers and farm owner, Lawrence Hoatson, reached boiling point.

This escalation resulted in four of the farm workers shot and injured while protesting at his farm gate. The tensions were further aggravated when Hoatson impounded a herd of 300 cattle belonging to the local community under the charge of overgrazing.

Tensions in farming communities are, however, not limited to Normandien but constantly erupt in different areas of the province.

They are indicative of deep seated anger between farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers within farming communities.

It is against this backdrop that Premier Zikalala and MEC Sithole-Moloi will be engaging with the farming community in a bid to seek solutions to their concerns and challenges.

The KZN government is seriously concerned about farm killings and this engagement will also seek to promote unity and cohesion and encourage collaborative work between farmers and farm workers.

Members of the media are cordially invited to cover this important engagement.

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