2007-02-19 : Greater firepower will help guards fight back

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2007-02-19 : Greater firepower will help guards fight back

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-02-27 09:54


Greater firepower will help guards fight back

February 19 2007 at 05:16AM

By Vusumuzi Ka Nzapheza

Security guards transporting cash throughout the country will soon be able to match the firepower of criminals who have been targeting their vans.

The breakthrough follows a meeting between unions, government departments, the police and security guard companies at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

The Motor Transport Workers' Union (MTWU) approached Nedlac in December seeking permission to go on strike. The union demanded greater firepower for its members, who sometimes had to face the robbers' automatic weapons with pistols.

They also demanded that the cash vans be upgraded, and better training and working conditions.

A team made up of the Reserve Bank, the four major banks, the police, the government, unions and the three major security companies was set up last week to discuss safety concerns in the industry.

Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) vice-president Leon Grobler said, while there was hostility between the unions and the security firms, some progress was made when they agreed to provide heavier weapons.

"There is still lots of resistance from the companies, who complain that it will be expensive for them to meet all the demands," he said.

"The strike was averted when Nedlac sent the unions back because their decision was not 'properly considered'."

Grobler said the team would do an international comparison and report back in April.

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula previously blamed the companies for failing to secure their vehicles, saying: "Those business-people have money - why are they not reinforcing their vehicles? Why are those companies not training people adequately and providing them with high-calibre weapons?"

Nqakula told a media briefing last week that, although there was a spike in the number of cash-in-transit heists in 2006, independent figures showed the trend slowed down significantly towards the end of the year.

o This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on February 19, 2007
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