Cash Connect welcomes the decision of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police to hold a special hearing on 13 June 2018 to discuss the recent spate of cash-in-transit heists.
Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect and an expert in cash management and logistics, says the cash-in-transit industry, which manages the circulation of the nation’s cash, is the lifeblood of South Africa’s economy. “Cash represents 58% of our GDP and if this highly specialised service were to be sabotaged, the economy would be throttled. These violent attacks, which have increased at an alarming rate over the past two years, threaten to cripple our economy and as such should be regarded as crimes against the state.”
As important, is the fact that business cash is equally being targeted by the very same syndicates whose bombings of armoured vehicles regularly attract front page news. Our country sees at least 57 reported business armed robberies a day, and cash remains the primary target.
“The problem goes beyond cash in transit and needs to be seen in the broader context of cash crime in general”, says Phillips. “These figures support our view that cash crime is spiralling out of control.”
“Nevertheless, we are encouraged to see that government is stepping into the fray and beginning to take action. However, we urge the Portfolio Committee to recognise the need for law enforcement agencies to prioritise cash crime in all its facets, across the board.”
The cash industry has to be recognised for the strategic role it plays in the South African economy, given that the vast majority of transactions are still conducted with cash. In our considered opinion, the introduction of minimum Cash in Transit service fees coupled to minimum operational standards similar to those imposed by National Key Point legislation, would go a long way to greatly increase the capacity and capability of the CIT industry to raise the bar. In addition, coordinated action between Crime Intelligence, SAPS, the Justice cluster as well as the Cash in Transit companies will undoubtedly produce the same or better results than were achieved during Operation Greed during the early part of this century.
“Only through close cooperation between business, government, law enforcement and the CIT industry, will syndicated and organised crime in this space be contained,” concludes Phillips.