The scene of a cash-in-transit robbery on Jakes Gerwel Drive in Cape Town. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Gauteng's community safety department is pushing to enforce a legislation that will force cash transporting companies to use available technology that can restrict the current scourge of cash-in-transit (CIT) heists.

At least 179 CIT heists have occurred on South African roads since the beginning of the year and the department’s MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, asserted that if all companies had utilised the technology currently on offer this number would have hugely declined. She was part of the panel discussing solutions to the CIT heists at AllCash Technologies offices in Kyalami, north of Joburg, on Tuesday.

She said following the assembling of a special task team by the police ministry recently, it was highlighted that there needed to be a legislation that would compel firms to advance their security systems.

“We are currently working on the legislature and our team has already prepared a proposal that will go to the ministry of police and hopefully be presented in Parliament so that it can apply throughout the country. We have noted that only two of three top companies have been using this technology. We need to force everyone in this line of business to comply. It is not only their business that is affected, we keep losing our brothers and sisters to CIT heists and the image of the country is also affected,” said Nkosi-Malobane.

AllCash Technologies demonstrated two devices that help deter would-be robbers. They were a Pudu vehicle vault protection polyurethane dispensing unit and the Cash Defender MK3. The Pudu dispenses a combination of chemicals into the vault area of the car while rapidly forming polyurethane foam which hardens into a solid block. The foam instantly encases the money securely while preventing access to the vault.  This device can be activated remotely and can resist the impact of an explosive.

The Cash Defender MK3, is a mobile carrier used by guards while walking on the pavement. It is fitted with a dye dispensing device that is simply triggered by removing a finger off the box’s handle causing the bank notes to be stained within seconds. The box has an anti-cut and lid forced protection.

Nkosi-Malobane also blasted the CIT companies for using unroadworthy vehicles which made them easy targets to would-be robbers.  She said eight of the 20 most wanted CIT heists criminals in SA have been arrested and that government was doing all it could to oppose their bail.

“I’m not here to tip off the criminals. We are here to let them know that we will fight fire with fire and that they must stop their arrogance. The Boksburg heists (where two vans were bombed in May) sent shockwaves and people started to lose hope in our law enforcement agencies,” said Nkosi Malobane.

Andy Mashaile, Interpol ambassador, urged companies to enforce lifestyle audits on their employees to curb collusion between them heist gangs. He said at least R465 million was stolen from 10 heists last year of which only R33m was recovered by police.

“By doing lifestyle audit you are able to retrieve that loss through the Assets Forfeiture Unit. The companies also need up their game by offering the public more money as rewards to secure the arrest of suspects. Criminals are willing to offer millions to silence law enforcers but do you think a member of the public would risk their lives and assist police in their investigation if the reward is only R100 000 while criminals offer more? I doubt it. These companies must give more money as a reward and in so doing they are also destructing the value chain for criminals,” Mashaile.

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The Star