Violent attacks not unique to farmers
Farmers are not uniquely vulnerable to armed attacks, the SA Institute of Race Relations has said.
“The analysis of statistics did not indicate that farm attacks were not a problem,” the institute’s CEO Frans Cronje said.
“Rather it revealed just how vulnerable all South Africans are to violent crime.”
The number of farm attacks per 100 000 farmers and their families was comparable to the number of criminal attacks per 100 000 people in the general population.
According to an analysis of farm attack data collected by farmers’ union TAU, there were 108 confirmed attacks in 1994, and 85 in 2011.
The highest number of farm attacks occurred in 2002, with 229 across the country. The lowest number was 70 in 1996.
In 2011, the number of attacks per 100 000 farmers and farm workers in the formal sector was 16.8.
If it was assumed that farmworkers were not targeted, and that attacks were aimed at commercial farmers and their families only, the rate of attack was 45.8 per 100 000 (assuming three dependants each).
The rates calculated were broadly comparable to rates per 100 000 people for other serious crimes among the general population.
In 2011, South Africa had a murder rate of 31.9 per 100 000 people. The house robbery rate was 33.4 per 100 000.
The total aggravated robbery rate was 203 per 100 000 people.