A female farmer from the Soutpan region is very disappointed in the service the police are providing to farmers.
Mimie Jacobs, who received the Free State Entrepreneur Award from the Free State Department of Agriculture in 2016, has been calling upon the South African Police Service for quite some time. Theft has become a serious problem on the farm since October 2017 and has since increased. “It actually seems as if someone is trying to hamper me,” Jacobs said.
This follows after an incident occurred where underground cables and pivot cables were stolen and pivot tyres slashed. “The tyres are R4 500 per tyre and the two cables of 30 m each cost R16 000,” she explained.
“Everything on the farm is very important and has great impact on the business. One can’t afford any losses,” Jacobs said.
She also mentioned that police don’t follow up the cases but just close them. “They must review the approach and provide more security and support to the farmers.”
If any work is hampered on the farm, it hampers the four to five families she looks after on the farm who won’t be able to put food on their families’ tables. She has a suspicion who it may be, but can’t confirm this as yet, but she thinks it must be someone who knows the ins and outs of the farm. “These people are skilled in what they do, they are professionals. They target you deliberately so that you must move out of the game.”
After several attempts by Voice to contact the case investigator, no comment had been received by the time the paper went to print.
Despite the theft, Jacobs has proved that it won’t cause her to quit. This is her seventh year on the farm, she has only been in production for about four years and has signed to rent the farm for the next 30 years with the option to buy.
“My love for agriculture comes from my father. After he passed away, I felt the urge to enter the agricultural market,” she said.
She has been farming with mealies, wheat, barley, beans and lucerne and will soon be farming with pecan nuts. “It is a high yielding crop and needs the right air, soil, temperature as well as water,” she explained.
“You must differentiate between what works and does not work on your farm. The pecan nuts need a good, skilled workforce which needs to be geared in order to reach success.”