WITH Black Friday taking place on November 29, followed by the festive season which sees stokvel payouts and 13th cheques being issued, SAPS would like to warn the community about the dangers of carrying excessive cash on their person.Speaking further on this, Captain Charlene Van Der Spuy, corporate communications officer at a KZN SAPS office, said: “It is almost that time of the year where members of the community are looking forward to the festive season and spending their hard-earned money with their loved ones. Regrettably, this is also the time in which criminal elements will attempt to continue with their evil plans, including committing crimes such as robberies.”“As a precautionary measure, police in the province would like to caution members of the community, particularly those who have been saving money through stokvel groupings or societies, to avoid carrying a lot of cash.” They state that two crime types remain prevalent. In the first case, victims are followed out of banks after a cash withdrawal has been made. In other incidences, consumers are followed after withdrawing money at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to their residences, places of work, vehicles, or any other place where it is easy to rob them. “Small business owners are also at risk, particularly when drawing cash to pay weekly wages,” said the captain.“In most robberies, robbers are armed and will resort to violence if the victim resists. These kinds of robberies are not limited to urban areas, but also occur in rural communities. “There are safer ways to do transactions, such as internet transfers or mobile banking, instead of carrying large amounts of cash,” she said. SAPS PROVIDED THE COMMUNITY WITH THE FOLLOWING SAFETY TIPS:· Carry as little cash as possible.· Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically (consult your bank to find out about other available options).· Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.· Vary the days and times on which you deposit cash.· Do not openly display money you are depositing while standing in the bank queue.· Avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.· It is advisable to identify another branch nearby that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable.· If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.· Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public; rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.TIPS FOR STOKVEL GROUPINGS:· Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high-risk days (e.g. Monday after month end).· Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member.· A stokvel savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions.· Arrange for the club’s payout to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.