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Would you risk death for R11k? Cash-in-transit guards threaten to strike over heists

24 May 2018 - 11:19 By Ernest Mabuza
Cash-in-transit vehicles attacked on Atlas Road. File photo
Cash-in-transit vehicles attacked on Atlas Road. File photo
Image: @emergancy_task via Twitter

Cash-in-transit security officers will embark on nationwide protests on June 11 to demand that concrete measures be taken to deal with the increasing heists.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and its affiliate unions affected by the attacks announced it would join the protest action against government.

Fedusa general secretary Dennis George said because ATMs must be loaded daily‚ a one-day strike would create a significant scarcity of money. He said a two-day strike would cause large sums of cash piling up with retailers and a three-day strike would cause an economic crisis.

Fedusa said the salaries of security officers‚ which average about R11‚000 per month‚ should be increased to R20‚000 because of the high risks associated with the job.

George said the heist pandemic was totally understated. There were 180 such attacks in 2014 but that figure increased to 370 in 2017.

“The main reason for the extreme increase could be attributed to the fact that cash-in-transit vehicles are seen as ‘soft and easy targets’ due to under-investment in strong security measures and that the security companies focus on maximising profits‚” George said.

Fedusa welcomed the call by the Motor Transport Workers Union for an urgent meeting with the management of major transit companies next week. MTWU is the majority trade union in the industry.

Fedusa and MTWU leadership had identified several weaknesses in the safety and security of the industry. These included weak and outdated vehicle designs‚ a low number of officers in the cash vehicles‚ weak firepower and outdated equipment of security officers‚ lack of training‚ low staff morale and the lack of focus on general safety precautions.