Are S.A. dairy farmers going extinct?

In Dec 1997 South Africa had 7,077 commercial dairy farmers. By November 2011, there were less than 2,686… but is this all due to the lower milk prices?

From March to January 2011 a total of 646 dairy farmers got rid of their herds and milking equipment and stopped farming. Dr  Koos Coetzee, chief economist of the Milk Producers’ Organisation (representing 85% of SA dairy farmers) solely blames this dramatic malaise on the much lower prices paid by wholesalers to dairy farmers – on average five percent lower than a year ago.

However, there also are other, much stronger motives: South African dairy farmers are being murdered at a proportionally very high rate compared to the rest of the population.

Proportionally high number of murders and terrorist-attacks against white SA dairy farmers:

DAIRY FARMERS PAGE 2 SUMMARY MURDERS AND ATTACKS SA Above: the independent criminology-site also showed that there were proportionally high numbers of very violent, armed attacks against this small group of some 2,600 dairy farmers over the past decade. Above are just a few examples of the gruesome nature of these attacks.

Stafleu Venessa with husband Willem SHE WAS SHOT DEAD 8pm Doornfontein DAIRY farm Randfontein           

Atmosphere of growing anti-white violence in South Africa

These attacks against white farmers are not stand-alone events: there is a growing atmosphere of violence amongst black South Africans, and whites are increasingly attacked with racist motives, verbally abused with anti-white hatespeech. Whites countrywide increasingly complain that they feel increasingly unsafe in public, at work, in banks, in shopping centres and many families have to pack guns and sign up for security-systems such as — just to go about their business, producing food on farms and smallholdings, contributing their share to the economy.

You Boers are going to Kak – black mob attacking whites in Rustenburg township

BOERS ATTACKED _GOUWS TALLIE, COETZER UGIE CHASED FROM TOWNSHIP YOU BOERS ARE GOING TO KAK ‘ You Boers are going to kak,’ heard Afrikaners Tallie Gouws and Ugie Coetzee: chased from a Rustenburg township by a large group of stone-throwing males.

Amanzimtoti resident: 9 March 2012: ‘Whites aren’t safe anywhere anymore: ‘WHITES NOT SAFE ANYWHERE IN AMANZIMTOTI

Why host the World Dairy Summit in Cape Town when SA dairy farmers are rapidly going extinct?

Ironically — despite the fact that the country ‘s own dairy farmers are in such dire straits — the World Dairy Summit is being held in Cape Town this year: at its International Convention Centre from 4 to 9 November 2012. More than 1,000 delegates are expected to attend, representing over 50 countries.

Amazingly, the annual milk-consumption still averaged 2-billion liters by 2006… but how much longer will these families still be able to fight off the murder-gangs?

Also interesting is the fact that the FAO still reported in 2006 that despite all these problems in die SA dairy industry, the total production for the whole of South Africa during the year 2005 to 2006, was  a whopping 2,053,110 litres of milk, which nearly met the year’s consumption needs of 2,088,000 litres.

Fewer, but better-skilled SA dairy farmers produced well because they enlarged their herds dramatically and used the most advanced technology: FAO

The FAO’s economic expert William Gertenbach pointed out in his 2007 report that the remaining SA dairy farmers are enlarging their herds to keep their businesses profitable: noting that the total milk production has remained relatively constant around 2billion litre per annum since 1997 up to 2006, in spite of  a decline in the number of  commercial milk producers   and  an increase in the population, from 40.6 million in 1996 to 50million in 2012. (StatsSA).

FAO report: Milk Producers in South Africa:


Gertenbach pointed out that of all farming enterprises, dairy farming places the highest demand on advanced technology. Thus skilled and well trained workers are essential. Not only is an intimate knowledge of dairy cattle and their management necessary, but highly sophisticated equipment is used for milking as well as providing the milking cow with the kind of nutrition that will allow her to produce the optimum amount of quality milk. Furthermore, dairy farming is a business and without the relevant business skills, a dairy enterprise is doomed. Apart from the high demand for skilled personnel, the fact that cows must be milked throughout the year twice a day, requires great dedication. 

The highveld regions of SA have no fresh growth for grazing in the winter months: dairy farmers are moving to the low-lying areas:

Due to the increasing difficulty of obtaining fodder for the winter-months in the highveld regions (where nothing grows in the winter, hence the Afrikaans name for the region, describing it as ‘Vaal’ (a beige-coloured landscape: infertile, without fresh green growth).

SA’s geographic distribution of milk production showed that there has been a movement of production from the central provinces to the coastal provinces (Lactodata), noted Gertenbach of the FAO.  Thus milk production has declined in the highveld regions of Free State, Mpumalanga, Northwest and Gauteng, whereas production increased in the low-lying Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. The Western Cape province is currently the major milk producing area in the country.

Are SA’s ‘emerging dairy farmers’ more viable than commercial farmers?  
Gertenbach also noted that ‘there were almost daily articles  in the media stating the need to include ‘previously disadvantaged’ black people into all these interprises. And he also praised the MPO for its active encouragement of emerging farmers to enter the dairy industry.
He wrote: “This is a commendable sentiment, but there are a number of challenges that must be overcome:”

‘ Emerging farmers can no longer start with just 5 to 10 cows in their backyards: a viable dairy farm now needs at least 85 cows to start being profitable… ‘

o “Dairy farming requires big financial inputs. Emerging farmers must therefore have access to ready financial support.
o  “To ensure economic viability, starting on a small  scale within the current economic environment, emerging farmers will no longer, as in the past, be able to start by milking 5 or 10 cows  in the backyard.
“Already in the 1980’s it was stated that a dairy farm should include at least 85 cows to be profitable, “ Gertenbach concluded.


Farm murders death toll up to April 2010:

Marie Weilbach, dairy farmer, dies of brain injuries after attack:

Koos van Rooyen, dairy farmer, murdered near Randfontein:

Susan vd Heever, bludgeoned to death on dairy farm Tzaneen:

Willem Jacobus Scholtz, Lichtenburg dairy farmer murdered:

Afrikaner dairy farmers from Randburg region seek asylum in USA, three attacks against their family because of their ethnic-origin:

Riana Schoeman, dairy farm wife murdered defending her children from armed attackers;

Dairy farmer Loffie vd Grijp murdered execution-style in milking sheds near Sterkfontein by 12-member gang 2008:

Heilbron farmer Christo van Rensburg thrown with petrol-bombs in his truck: pulled burning from vehicle by black attackers, beaten up: he saves himself by running home naked after pulling off his burning clothes

Bosch Johannes and Jacobi vd Bosch, Dutch Dairy farm couple murdered April10, 2009, Boschkop 2009-04-10 Dutch dairy farmers Johannes and Jacobi Van der Bosch murdered in very violent, motiveless double-murder, Good Friday, Boschkopdairy farm. April 10 2009

Mrs Venessa Stafleu, 34, shot dead in front of her two small children, Doornfontein dairy farm RandfonteinMrs Venessa Stafleu, 34, wife of dairy farmer Willem Stafleu, was shot dead in a farm attack near Randfontein in a motiveless murder: nothing was robbed. Mon Apr 30 2012

Dairy farmer Loffie vd Gryp murdered execution-style Tarlton Sterkfontein Oct 28 2008 12-member gang Dairy farmer Loffie van der Gryp, murdered execution style, Tarlton smallholdings, Muldersdrift region – Sterkfontein Dairies

Walford, Russell, Dairy Farmer murdered, Peacevale KZN July 4 2010 July 4 2010 – Dairy farmer Russell Walford, 73, was bludgeoned to death in his cattle shed… Mr Russell Walford, a prominent craftsman anddairy farmer of Peacevale, KwaZulu-Natal,wa …

Sun Jul 4 2010 1:17:00 am | Relevance: +3

Smith, Deanie: smallholding attacked three times Feb 2010, Hoogekraal near Lancewood Dairy farm – we left the country

Robbed 3 times in one week. very violent and while we were sleeping, in Hoogekraal Calvinia, in Feb 2010. We sold the smallholding and left the country. Mon Feb 1 2010

Karg, Lorraine, killed Mooi River dairy farm massacre:also killed Hilda Linyene, Zakwe MlongweMooi River farm attack: Four arrested appear in court on July 30 2010 . Four men were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of three people on a farm in Mooi River Fri Jul 30 2010

Siemens, Mr I G, shot dead, Mets Dairy Sekororo Tzaneen –  SAPS constable Raganya sought for farm attack Siemens, Mr I G shot dead and Erasmus, Mrs A, assaulted Mets Dairy, Sekorororo, attacked by 3 black males. Tzaneen SAPS case Nr MAAKE MAS 18/07/2002 — Arrested Erick Monyapabe … Thu Jul 18 2002

Connie Janneke, 61, murdered on dairy farm Cullinan June 21 2008 – murderer Tumelo Shakes Monakedi guilty Murderer of Connie Janneke, 61, dairy farm Cullinan June 21 2008, found guilty Saliva on a cigaret-butt at the scene of Mrs Connie Janneke’s murder contained DNA which proved Tue Jun 21 2011

Dairy farmer Pieter Loubser, wife Brenda brutally hacked with axes, Malmesbury: critical condition Pieter Loubser  18 November 2011deur drie swartes op plaas buite dorp aangeval met byle.Hy le in kritieke toestand in Hospitaal. 10km buite Malmesbury op N7 na Kaap Fri Nov 18 2011

David Hall, unarmed Potchefstroom dairy farmer, 49, shot dead execution-style, wife Bernadette, 44 hit over head, survives Potchefstroom dairy farmer David Hall was shot dead execution style, his wife Bernadette was hit over the head with a blunt object – but survived. Mon Feb 20 2012

Bouke Tack, 57, Golden Valley dairy farmer, partially paralysed with bullet in spine: gunman emptied gun into farmer: 5 black male attackers Bouke Tack, 57 Golden Valley dairy farmer, partially paralysed: Mar 18 2012 gunman emptied gun into farmer: five attackers, three black males arrested by police as they were fleeing Sun March 18 2012

dairy farmers could soon be extinct in SA


About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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