Minister gives equipment to Redelinghuys Farm Watch
REDELINGHUYS – The MEC for Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited Redelinghuys in the Bergrivier Municipality, where he handed starter kits over to the Redelinghuys Farm Watch.
A starter kit consists of reflective vests, torches, strobe lights for the vehicles, magnetic decals, a first-aid kit, personal protective equipment (PPEs), a fire extinguisher, whistles and a storage box. The Watch enjoys support from the local agricultural sector and the Bergrivier Municipality.
During his visit Meyer said: “Rural safety is a priority for the Western Cape government, and I am pleased with the support the Redelinghuys Farm Watch receives from the agricultural sector and the Bergrivier Municipality, with the R800 000 the municipality has allocated to rural safety.”
Through surveillance cameras and related technology the farm watch covers more than 1 800 km².
Watch chairperson Francois de Jager stresses that dedicated community members form the backbone of the farm watch.
“While technology certainly makes a difference, at the heart of any farm watch lies hardworking communityorientated individuals who are committed to serving their community,” he said. “Combating crime through patrols, fighting veld fires and providing basic first aid at road accidents remain an important part of what we do.”
MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz, meanwhile, has repeated his call for farm watches and neighbourhood watches to be accredited.
He said: “Being accredited will allow this department to support those community stakeholders, who volunteer their spare time for the good of their community. The accreditation certificate is valid for two years. It must be renewed three months before it expires so that the accreditation doesn’t lapse.”
On their accreditation neighbourhood watches receive a starter kit. A payment of R10 000 is also made to assist with their operational and administration costs.
The department also provides accredited neighbourhood watches with a free two-day basic training course, which focuses on patrolling, the neighbourhood watch code, community mapping, safety audits and other essential aspects of their role.