Du Toit Farm Group: Robertson: Evidence that instructions were given to torch our properties – Also: industrial sabotage at the Duvha power-station: Middelburg
21 November 2012 - "All indications are that specific instructions were given to burn down property and movable assets - causing millions of Rands damage to our business – by political powers with their own agendas”… Statement by board of directors, P.S.F. du Toit - G.C. du Toit of Robertson, WC, South Africa
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Statement: "The present anarchy taking place on most of our agri properties in the Western Cape caused a major break in confidence in the future of Agri investment. This anarchy is mainly driven by provoked worker emotions. In the process, serious and well intended investors in this Agri Sector as well as our workers are abused by political powers with own agendas.’
This dangerous game has now derailed and the results are as follows:
1. All indications suggest that specific instructions to burn down property and movable assets caused millions of Rands damage to our business.
2. Further huge consequential losses are caused as a result of disruptions due to critical and time-based agricultural practices that can not be executed.
3. Long-term labour relations were destroyed because this orchestrated campaign was fuelled by unfounded promises by political representatives, such as unions and political parties.
4. Major losses occurred as a result of minority groups of workers who received specific orders to target selected properties.
5. This minority group of workers violently intimidated and assaulted well intended workers and management of Dutoit Agri.
The slow and inefficient reaction by Government to protect our assets and people, confirms the strong suspicion that this is an ill intended campaign by unions and political parties.
In the interest of our stakeholders Dutoit Agri has the following urgent and serious message:
1. To the Government:
1.1 Protect the agricultural community of the Western Cape with sufficient police and security forces.
1.2 Expose the saboteurs and keep them accountable as the law prescribes.
1.3 Arrest the identified saboteurs and let justice take its course.
2. To the well intended Workers:
2.1 We know about your suffering and trauma over the past three (3) days. We will support you and do everything within our ability to restore and protect job opportunities which was built up through the past years.
2.2 Although difficult, please do your best to continue with critical tasks so that our company can survive.
3. To the Management:
3.1 The severe traumatisation, sleepless nights and life threatening situations you had to go through the last three (3) days makes each of you a hero during the time of crisis.
3.2 Your dedication is a sense of proof that the greater calling of Dutoit people is to unite and to stand together for the survival and pursuit of our vision.
4. To the Community:
Thank you for thousands of messages of support and prayers. We appreciate it and it encourages us to continue to share the welfare we bring to South Africa and the Western Cape with our stakeholders.
5. To our Clients:
5.1 We will do everything within our power to continue to deliver the high quality products, which nature provides us with, according to our agreement with you.
5.2 Please accept this episode in our history as a once-off event.
5.3 Over the years we have not yet disappointed you. Trust that we will continue our commitment in the future. We apologize for the anarchy during the past week.
It was beyond our control. Hopefully our government finally realized that law and order is non-negotiable to operate successful businesses to the benefit of all.
6. To our Providers:
6.1 We appreciate your understanding and support in the current crisis.
6.2 Please work together with us to restore and rebuild assets that were destroyed so that we can perform our critical tasks.
Du Toit has farmed for more than 100 years:
Hereby attached find photos of horrific scenes as evidence of the potential of political power struggle play-offs in our community where so many people are dependant on agriculture. Our prayers, hope and desire is that Dutoit Agri will soon be allowed to continue with the good work which has been done for more than 100 years.
Demand to set conditions for trading policies in agricultural sector in South Africa:
This disruptive experience compels us to set a condition that trading policies are clearly stipulated, before any further investment in the agricultural sector in South Africa takes place. Namely:
A clear policy framework which sets out support from the government for agriculture in South Africa
A commitment to farmers and agricultural workers' safety and to guarantee the protection of their properties.
Our experience of these events is that serious questions now arise, such as:
1. To what extent can we automate and mechanize our processes to be more productive and reduce dependence on labour?
2. Are there crops that we can farm with where labour can be minimized or eliminated to reduce labour risK?
Weighed against Dutoit Agri's fantastic resources, years of experience and market relationships; the above-mentioned options could lead to a tragedy for our current workers, not even to mention job creation for the youth of our future.
Yours sincerely,P.S.F. du Toit
(end of statement by Du Toit Group of Farms)
National key point sabotaged by violent crowd: Middelburg Mpumalanga power station Nov 19 2012: