Government is considering arming private security companies amid concerns of escalating cash heists.
The Minister of Defense, Justice and Security Kagiso Mmusi told this publication that the task force that was appointed by government will this week hand over their long -term recommendations.
Mmusi said these recommendations will be handed over before end of this year to allow cash in transit private security companies to adjust to the long-term measures.
He said although using the armed police service to escort the security companies was an emergency measure, it was always viewed as a short-term solution.
Mmusi said the committee was tasked with the responsibility of identifying weaknesses in the security sector, adding that various options will be put on the table.“Right now I cannot say whether or not it is practical to arm the Private Security Personnel, but this is an issue that is being looked at by experts because relaxing laws around ownership of ammunition is also a problem on its own,” Mmusi said
He added that there is need to ascertain why there has been an increase in cash in-transit heists across the country.
“I strongly believe that our short term solution managed to minimize this wave of cash robberies because we are even able to intercept some of these planned heists,” added Mmusi.
He admitted that the wave of robberies overstretched the country’s policing power, adding that the Police Service was hard at work enforcing the law during State of Public Emergency (SOE).
“These cash heists were dealing us a hard blow because these were acts of terrorism and as a result we had to act instantly,” said Mmusi.
He indicated that they are also working around the clock to ensure that the police is not overstretched, adding that their impediment remains lack of finances.
In October, government revealed that over P13 million in cash has been stolen in the recent spate of robberies.
Mmusi also confirmed that these crimes were mostly committed by locals collaborating with foreign nationals from South Africa.