Mpumalanga bank robberies remain highest in SA

News24 correspondent

Mbombela - Bank robberies have gone up by 29% in Mpumalanga, making it the only province to have reported an increase in this crime.

All other provinces, by contrast, recorded a decrease in bank robberies for 2015 so far according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said the biggest decreases were recorded in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces, where associated robberies showed a 40% and 46% decrease, respectively.

"However, the Mpumalanga Province showed an unfortunate 29% increase in associated robberies, which is a concern to the banking industry. Mitigation efforts between law enforcement and the industry are being implemented to address this scourge," said Pillay in a press statement released this week.

Sabric has been involved in an "intervention and stabilisation programme" in the Emalahleni area in partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS) since April.

"This is due to the increase in bank-related crimes that we witnessed in that area and we can confidently say that the interventions are beginning to show a decline in these crimes as arrests are being effected," said Pillay.

She said the SAPS in partnership with Sabric would be launching similar programmes of stabilisation in other identified problem areas around the country, and these would be announced soon.

Meanwhile, two cash-in-transit heists were reported near Mbombela on August 3. Vehicles from both Protea Coin and G4S Security were robbed of undisclosed amounts of money. Police are still looking for the suspects.