RADIO news broadcasts and newspaper articles concerning the recent perlemoen case in the Alexandria area reported that an Alexandria farmer was allegedly involved with two Chinese nationals and perlemoen to the value of R33-million found.
The "farmer" is definitely not a bona fide commercial farmer, but is a mechanic living on a smallholding in the Alexandria area where this perlemoen operation was allegedly conducted. Further investigations are being conducted by the SAPS.
The image of commercial farmers in South Africa seems to have been tainted on several occasions by the true facts not being broadcast on radio and contained in press reports even after we have requested radio and newspapers to rectify this inaccuracy.
Farmers today are under enough pressure due to the recent increases in wages, fuel and operational costs to make ends meet and gradually some farmers are falling by the wayside. In some cases it is due to restructuring processes in South Africa, but in other cases it is due to a poor image being projected of commercial farmers.
So please remember "no farmer, no food".
JD Wepener, chairman, Albany and Bathurst Farmer's League