Johannesburg - The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), is concerned with the number of bank clients that fall victim to cash robberies daily.

According to SABRIC, These incidents increased by 4% from 2015 to 2016, with 695 incidents reported so far in 2017. Bank client cash losses for 2017 from January to June, amounted to R21 million.

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These incidents are not just in urban areas, but also happen in rural areas across South Africa. The Eastern Cape saw the largest increase (48%) from 2015 to 2016. From 2017 January to June, Gauteng has shown the highest number of incidents (382) followed by KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and the Free State.

During the period of 2014 to June 2017, SABRIC recorded 27 fatalities and 69 injuries due to cash robberies.

Kalyani Pillay, CEO of SABRIC said:” It is shocking that bank clients, who are the victims of these crimes, are killed and injured during these robberies. This is why we encourage bank customers to find safer ways to transact instead of carrying large amounts of cash.”

Not only do these criminals target individuals, but they are also target business owners who deposit or withdraw large amounts of cash.

Stokvels are also at risk. From 2014 to June 2017, 50 Stokvel robbery incidents were reported, with 82% of incidents occurring during November and December 2016 due to the festive season. Of these incidents, 54% occurred in Gauteng and 24% in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said bank clients to be vigilant about paying attention to their surroundings, even when inside a bank.