Rural safety desk and safety monitoring dashboard to monitor incidents
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Cape Town - The Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation has called for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) to also establish a rural safety desk and safety monitoring dashboard for poor farmers.
This after the department recently announced that it has established a rural safety desk and a rural safety monitoring dashboard, to monitor rural safety incidents reported within the agricultural environment.
Agriculture MEC Dr Ivan Meyer, said the desk provided a platform for the public, farmers/producers, agri-workers and agricultural stakeholders to log enquiries, queries, and matters on rural safety.
Meyer said information logged via the desk was populated on the WCDoA’s innovative rural safety monitoring dashboard, developed in conjunction with Enterprise GIS-solution. The new interactive digital platform uses a combination of technology tools – mobile and web-mapping applications.
He said that the dashboard’s purpose was to monitor rural safety incidents reported within the agricultural environment, and that 40 cases had so far been logged on the rural safety dashboard.
“The dashboard will assist in identifying rural crime hotspots as well as inform data-led rural safety interventions to improve safety within rural and agricultural communities across the province,” Meyer said.
Carmen Louw, co-director of Women on Farms, said: “We focus on the safety of farm workers and dwellers and not enough is being done to protect workers against harmful pesticide exposure and illegal evictions.”
Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation executive director Billy Claasen said the safety desks and rural safety monitoring dashboard were not implemented for the poorest farmers.
Meyer said a spatial representation of incidents of crime enables them to develop appropriate strategies in response to the safety needs of their farming communities.
He said information gathered via their Rural Safety Help Desk and Rural Safety Monitoring Dashboard was shared with the police and the Department of Community Safety’s Court Watching Brief Unit.
“The Court Watching Brief Unit assists with making follow-ups on rural safety related cases. Furthermore, the Unit’s representatives attend court sessions with the sole purpose of ensuring that rural crime-related cases are successfully prosecuted,” said Meyer.