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Almost R120m stolen from ATMs during unrest

IMAGE:BUSINESSLIVE

Article by: Dumisane Dube

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), says the banking industry suffered almost R120m loss during the unrest.

According to SABRIC more than 1,400 ATMs across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were vandalised during the unrest which left 337 people dead, many more injured, and thousands arrested for public violence.

“Sabric can now confirm that between July 9 and 17, at least 1 227 ATMs and 310 bank branches were vandalised or destroyed in the unrest. Of the 1 227 ATMs, 256 ATMs were breached (broken into using force) and 36 ATMs physically stolen from their sites, which have not been recovered to date. In addition, 82 in-branch safes were also breached,” said Sabric in a statement.

Close to 300 bank branches and post office outlets were also damaged.

SABRIC CEO Nischal Mewalall said: “There is great concern over the impact of intelligence failures and the state’s response to the eight consecutive days of civil unrest that resulted in unprecedented destruction of banking infrastructure in South Africa.”

SABRIC says it has been assessing the threats, and quantifying the losses incurred by the banking industry because of the civil unrest and has urged people to report any suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre.

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