Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The cost of agricultural-related crime was R7.7bn in 2017, with commercial farmers spending about R1.9bn in security in the same year, according to an AgriSA report.

The rand theft of malicious damage to property was 590% higher than the R687m annual cost estimated in a 2002 study, according to the AgriSA report.

The report, conducted by Unisa's bureau for economic research, found that the cost theft of tools and equipment may have risen 314% between 2002 and 2017, while livestock theft rose 130.1%.

Arson and malicious damage to property were predominant in the Western Cape, while burglary and theft of agricultural implements were predominant in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

KwaZulu-Natal headed the list of the proportion of farmers who experienced some form of crime in 2017, at 91.8%. Farmers in the Northern Cape were least affected by crime, with 55.4% reporting one or more incidents.