Government committed to dealing with farm attacks: Mthembu

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Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu says government is committed to dealing with farm attacks because failure to do so would threaten food security.  Cabinet met this week to discuss the latest developments in the country following widespread protests in Senekal in the Free State, among other things.

Mthembu briefed the media in Pretoria today on a number of issues that were discussed at the Cabinet meeting early this week.

The latest developments which saw widespread protests in Senekal in the Free State is of concern for government, according to Mthembu.

Farm manager 21-year-old Brendin Horner was killed in Senekal, leading to public violence during the court appearance of the two suspects in the murder case.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)  also took to Senekal to express its unhappiness at what it called the vandalism of public property.

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses party members in Senekal: 

Mthembu says government is fast-tracking the implementation of the revised rural safety strategy to ensure that food security is not compromised.

“A threat,  not only to farmworkers and owners but also to the country’s food security. The government is fast-tracking the implementation of the revised rural safety strategy to respond to the security needs of rural communities and support socio-economic development. ”

Recovery council for the economy 

At the same media briefing held in Pretoria, Mthembu also announced that the recent Cabinet meeting has resolved to set-up a “Recovery Council” which President Cyril Ramaphosa will chair. He says the Council would meet monthly to assess progress made in making sure that the country’s economy continues to thrive.

“The council will be chaired by the President and comprises the Deputy President and the Minister in the Presidency and all ministers in the economic cluster and obviously other ministers will be invited from time to time when the need arises. And of course, we’ll meet monthly to assess progress made in the implementation of the reconstruction and recovery plan – and also to interface with our social partners in NEDLAC.”

Coronavirus regulations

Meanwhile, Mthembu urged all South Africans to continue to observe COVID-19 health protocols in order to curb the spread of the virus. He says Cabinet’s decision to extend the National State of Disaster to the 15th of next month, seeks to make sure that the country doesn’t plunge into the second wave of coronavirus infections.

“As the country adapts to the new normal of co-existing with COVID-19 and a possible resurgence -Cabinet once again urges all South Africans to continue adhering to the health protocols of wearing masks. We are very concerned as the government.”

Matric exams

Government has also sent a message of encouragement to more than one-million matriculants ahead of exams that will start next month.  Mthembu says the Basic Education Department has gone the extra mile to make sure that this year’s matric exams take place without any glitches in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Jackson Mthembu briefs the media: