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30 March 2021

On Tuesday the 16th of March Agri Eastern Cape, and the Komga Farmers Association successfully obtained a Court Order against the Great Kei Municipality; the Municipal Manager, and Executive Mayor compelling the Municipality to put in place procedures to enforce Bylaws with regards to the keeping of animals within the residential areas of the Municipality.

Repeated requests to the Municipality to address this problem over many years resulted in very little action being taken. Unfortunately, Organised Agriculture was left with no option but to approach the Courts to remedy this situation.

It must be re-iterated that Agri Eastern Cape is not opposed to animal ownership by residents. We are aware that the ownership of animals is important, but that the keeping of animals within residential areas is regulated by Municipal Bylaws which need to be enforced in the interest of all the residents of the Municipality.

Farmers surrounding these towns suffer huge losses as a result of uncontrolled dog packs and dogs being bred and kept within these residential areas being used for illegal hunting.

The dangers posed by stray cattle and other domesticated animals kept in an uncontrolled manner within residential areas are self-evident.

Furthermore, the Municipal Manager and Mayor are required to file a report on before the 30th of April 2021 as to the steps that they have taken to comply with the provisions of this Order.

With livestock ownership comes the responsibility of ensuring that animals are kept in a manner, so as not to create a danger or nuisance to others.

Although it is unfortunate that the failure of the Municipality to adequately address these issues despite repeated requests over the course of many years necessitated this Court Action.

Agri Eastern Cape hopes that with this Court Order as a basis for negotiations, its Affiliated Associations will be in a position to engage with their respective Municipalities to ensure similar rectification plans are embarked upon, to solve similar problems in their respective areas without further unnecessary legal action.

Doug Stern
President Agri Eastern Cape