More ATMs for SA

By Staff Writer

The banking industry will roll out new ATMs throughout the country despite recent bombings, the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said on Monday.

"The banks will continue to roll out new ATMs to the previously disadvantaged areas and will also replace damaged and destroyed ATMs," Sabric said in a statement.

The centre said almost 700 ATMs about 2.8 % of ATMs in South Africa had been bombed since 2004 by criminals who placed commercial explosives inside or on the machines.

The crimes were generally perpetrated between 11pm and 5am, and the offenders were usually heavily armed.

"The banks are totally committed to providing easier access to banking services in a secure environment for their clients and take into consideration the general conditions of the site, lighting, proximity to other community services, visibility of the ATM from the road, amongst other factors, when rolling out ATMs."

Sabric said a number of initiatives had been undertaken to manage the threat posed by bombings. One of these was the establishment of a 24 hour hotline, 0800-212-191, to report any suspicious activity, including dealing in illegal explosives.

It said it was also participating in the "Take Charge Campaign" of the Gauteng Community Safety Department, and also in discussion with MEC Firoz Cachalia to ensure safety messages reached the relevant communities.

"We are also partnering with the Community Police Forum to improve community awareness in the prevention of crime."

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