Stokvel savings clubs have been warned by the police against carrying huge sums of money to avoid falling victim to criminal syndicates.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele on Tuesday warned stokvels that robberies and thefts from savings and investment societies were most prevalent around this time of the year.
“Instead of withdrawing large amounts of cash from the banks to pay out money to their members, they should rather transfer the money into their members’ bank accounts. Those members who do not have bank accounts should be encouraged to open them,” said Mbhele.
Stokvels that have to pay cash to their members, a practice which is inadvisable, should ensure that they have a secure venue with adequate safety measures in place.
Mbhele said as an additional safety measure, stokvels can request their local police to patrol the vicinity of the venue, where they are to make payments to their members. Police patrols would deter criminal elements.
“Members of stokvel clubs should be vigilant and take precautions to safeguard their money when making withdrawals at the ATMs,” Mbhele said.
“They should not withdraw large amounts of money, especially after hours when the streets are quiet and criminals are likely to be lurking around, but rather use the ATMs at shopping malls during business hours when it is safer or where there are security officials on duty.”