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Cash van robberies on the rise in Gauteng

By Zukile Majova

The migration of Gauteng into a cashless province has become ever more urgent with the crime stats showing a 22.7% increase in cash-in-transit robberies.

The country’s economic hub transports millions of rands in cash vans without police escort in one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

South Africa is among the top ten most dangerous countries in the world.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said at least 82 people are killed in South Africa every day.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela presented the province’s crime stats on Tuesday saying Gauteng now accounts for 27.1% of all the crimes in the country.

Cash-in-transit heists increased by over 80% in 2018/19, and by more than 100% in 2020/21.

In Johannesburg, cash vans are often attacked in broad daylight and even in highly congested areas with hundreds of community members watching.

Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said they recorded 27 cash-in-transit robberies between October and December 2022.

On Monday, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the financial services industry launched PayShap, a free real-time payments system for transactions of up to R3,000.

This service, which is free of bank transaction fees, is designed to discourage people from carrying cash on them. The payments done using the service reflect within 10 seconds.

Last month, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi committed billions of rands in the province’s crime-fighting strategy which includes a migration to a cashless province.

“To contribute to our desire to use less cash in business transactions in our province, we urge our retailers and other businesses to join the hospitality industry in eliminating cash transactions.

“If we all do so, we will see less business robberies, cash heists and ATM bombings,” said Lesufi.

Pictured above: Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela led a multi-disciplinary O Kae Molao operation over the weekend

Image source: SAPS

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