'Enough‚' say cash-in-transit protesters

12 June 2018 - 14:10 By Ernest Mabuza
Cash-in-transit vans line up along Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg where security guards handed over a memorandum demanding safer working conditions after a spate of violent robberies across the country.
Cash-in-transit vans line up along Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg where security guards handed over a memorandum demanding safer working conditions after a spate of violent robberies across the country.
Image: Masi Losi

Armoured cash-in-transit vehicles joined a procession in Johannesburg where security guards gathered to hand over a memorandum demanding safer working conditions to government and their bosses after a spate of violent robberies across the country.

“Enough! If they don’t want to listen‚ there won’t be money in the ATMs‚” said one of the marchers – to cheers of approval from the crowd. 

Security guards marched in the major cities to voice their grievances‚ in a one-day protest organised by the Motor Transport Workers Union. 

“Cash-in-transit workers’ lives matter‚” read a banner carried by marchers in Durban. “God will not bless you with heist money‚” read another. 

The memorandum in Johannesburg was addressed to the ministries of police‚ justice and transport‚ the metro police‚ the South African Reserve Bank and cash-in-transit companies.

The memorandum called on police to be more visible and to react faster when cash vans were attacked.

They also demanded that police intelligence capabilities be improved and called for regulations on firearms to be amended to allow security officers to carry heavy-calibre weapons.

From the department of justice‚ workers demanded that criminals be dealt with harshly‚ based on credible evidence gathered by police‚ and to minimise the chances of heist suspects walking free.

Security guards and employees called on the transport minister to enact legislation allowing cash-in-transit vehicles to drive in emergency lanes if they felt threatened.

They also demanded an end to the hiring of unskilled labour in the industry‚ a high standard of training and equipment‚ and more guards to be placed in each cash van.

Sonnyboy Mmatli‚ from the Gauteng department of community safety‚ accepted the memorandum on behalf of MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. 

Since the beginning of 2018, South Africa has seen a high number of cash-in-transit heists. Exactly how do these brazen gangs operate and manage to pull off a heist?

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