“The risks involved with carrying large amounts of cash are high,” says Theunis Kotze, GM of ADT’s inland region. “Criminals see domestic staff carrying cash as an easy target. We’ve heard of incidences where domestic staff have been accosted and robbed just after being paid in cash or drawing cash from an ATM. In some of these cases, the individual’s entire month’s salary was stolen.
“Besides the cash being stolen, the safety of the staff member is also at risk. It’s just not worth it.”
With the festive season approaching, many domestic employees will be receiving bonuses and Kotze urges employers to not pay their staff in cash. “There are numerous options in terms of bank accounts, retail store cash transfers and the like. Look for alternatives to cash payouts wherever possible.”
He also urges employers to speak to their domestic staff about the dangers of drawing large cash lump sums from ATMs. “Criminals watch ATMs and target individuals drawing large amounts,” he says. “They then follow them and wait for an opportunity to make their move. This can be in an isolated area or even in a crowded space. If they want the cash they will take it.”
Stokvel payouts are also an area of concern. “Annually, members of a stokvel receive a lump sum payout, depending on the stokvel.” he says. “Criminals are aware of this, whether this is through inside information or not, and will target the recipient shortly after the meeting.”
Kotze advises employers to speak with their staff about alternatives to a stokvel cash payout and perhaps suggest that a second person accompanies them, if they have to receive the payment in cash.
“Urge them to go straight to a bank and deposit the money after receiving it,” he says. “Let’s all work towards making this an incident-free festive season.”