Monday, October 16, 2006

Trade unions meet with police chief

By Nadia Samie
16 October 2006


Trade unions met with National Police Chief Jackie Selebi in Pretoria this morning to discuss the violent cash-in-transit heists that have been plaguing cash-van drivers for months.

The Federation of Unions in South Africa, or FEDUSA and its affiliate, the Motor Transport Workers Union, which represents 90 percent of the security who man cash-in-transit vehicles, raised their concerns with Selebi, citing that, in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, every worker is entitled to a safe workplace. The unions say that government is under obligation to ensure the safety of cash-in-transit security people.


FEDUSA says that while travelling with large sums of cash between towns, a strong army presence would deter robbers from attacking vans, while in suburban areas, a stronger police visibility, and a strong police undercover programme would deal effectively with detering and pre-empting attacks.

Earlier this week, a cash-in-transit heist in Johannesburg claimed the life of 15-month-old Khensani Mitileni, who was shot dead while strapped to her mother’s back.

Emily Fourie, general secretary of the Motor Transport Workers Union says that they will not hesitate to strike if something is not done urgently to protect the sector. Should this strike materialize, it would mean that ATM, shops and banks would be stranded with no way to transport large sums of money during the busy festive season.

According to the latest annual SAPS statistics, cash-in-transit heists have drastically increased by 74.1 percent.

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