Johannesburg – Cash withdrawals rose by 9.06% year on year (y/y) in May after a 6.01% y/y gain in April and a 11.28% y/y jump in March‚ the latest Spark ATM Systems cash index released on Thursday showed.
The index‚ which measures the average value of cash withdrawals across more than 2‚000 ATMs throughout the country‚ revealed a month on month (m/m) increase of 0.6% in cash withdrawals in May to R464.52 per transaction.
The surge in March was due to an early Easter compared with last year when Easter took place in April.
Wholesale locations recorded the highest average cash withdrawal value for the fourth month in a row at R476.57‚ while petrol stations recorded the second highest cash withdrawal value of R470.87.
The locations that recorded the highest m/m increases after farming (7.30%) were wholesale (0.92%) and retail (0.68%) sites.
Ryan Tzamtzis‚ the operations manager of Spark ATM Systems‚ said the surge in cash withdrawals at farming locations could be attributed to the recent 52% wage increases in the agricultural sector‚ which came into effect in March.
“The agricultural sector has also recently had its harvesting season‚ which often results in additional farm workers being employed to compensate for the increased workload or (existing) employees being paid overtime providing them with more cash flow‚” he said.
Tractor sales fell by 5.2% year on year (y/y) in May to 550 units after rising by 5.1% y/y in April to 555 units‚ South African Agricultural Machinery Association data showed last week.
Year to date‚ tractor sales are 3.9% lower than a year ago at 3 211 units.
Statistics SA said last month that the real value added by the agriculture‚ forestry and fishing sector rose by 4.0% y/y in the first quarter after a 2.3% increase last year following a 0.1% decline in 2011.