Sunday World

Courier van robberies threaten economy

Hundreds of courier vehicles hijacked or robbed every year

- By Bongani Mdakane bongani@sundayworl­

Forget about cash-in-transit heists, courier van robberies are emerging as the new threat to the economy.

According to data from the South African Police Service, there were 616 cases of theft and hijacking of courier vehicles in the 2021/22 financial year.

Most of the cases (335) were in the Western Cape, 180 in

Eastern Cape and 74 in Gauteng. Kwazulu-natal and North West had eight cases each, while Limpopo and Mpumalanga registered four cases each.

The Free State recorded three cases while there were no cases recorded in the Northern Cape.

According to the police, courier vehicles are targeted because they carry items such as laptops, cellphones, household goods and other gadgets of value.

Despite the industry being under siege, it has decided to remain mum on plans to counter the offensive.

South African Express Parcel Associatio­n spokespers­on Mick Kerford said: “Member companies

treat such events as totally confidenti­al and do not share the informatio­n with the associatio­n in the interests of prevention, nor do they share their safety and security initiative­s. Thus, we have no statistics we can offer you.”

Courier Guy spokespers­on Simon Hill said: “Unfortunat­ely it is company policy not to divulge this type of informatio­n.”

The value of the domestic e-commerce industry is estimated at about R200-billion a year.

CEO of FNB merchant services Thokozani Dlamini said the local e-commerce market will reach more than R400-billion by 2025 on the back of more than 1 billion transactio­ns a year.

 ?? / Pexels Photos ?? In 2020/21, 616 courier vehicles were robbed.
/ Pexels Photos In 2020/21, 616 courier vehicles were robbed.

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