Although not number one in crime rates in the world, South Africa sits at number 12 in highest murder rates in the most recent year. According to a survey done by Crime Stats South Africa, 47% of crime related incidents have been burglary and robbery, followed closely behind with 26% as theft.
Shockingly enough, these statistics do not exclude children and schools as victims. In fact, schools are one of the largest targets for major robbery and theft. According to News24.com four primary schools were targeted on January 19th 2016 where “more than 70 computers, cash and sports equipment” were allegedly stolen by the same gang. March 19 2015, Windermere Primary School was robbed by four men posing as parents wanting to enroll their children into the school. Two young boys were robbed at gunpoint five months ago at the Kings College and Preparatory School while playing soccer. Even young children and toddlers are victims to this, in Septemeber 2015 armed men robbed a creche in Pretoria, taking R40 000 that was donated by the parents for the children to go on a fieldtrip.
Adding more security has not seemed to lower the high rates of crime in South Africa. According to Africacheck.org, decreases in robberies were only about 1.3% between 2011 and 2012. So what is the solution? Perhaps removing the target itself from schools is the answer. Creating a cashless environment could potentially provide a safer place for the country’s children and youth to learn and grow up in.
Implementing cashless technologies within schools provides a convenient and safe transaction for teachers, parents, and students throughout the school community. Now, children cannot lose money: the money is directly linked to a bank account, which can easily be suspended, limited, and monitored. Lost chipped enabled cards can be reported, cancelled and replaced, and finally, money spent by children can be tightly controlled by their parents. Gone are the days where children lose their tuck money, bullies target their classmates for cash, petty theft on campus, or the misuse and abuse of cash.
Cash designated for tuck and lunch is often abused by children. According to 2 oceans recovery house, 69% of teenagers claim to have access to drugs from people within their school. It is not surprising that cash is being used for more than just lunch money. Kids can buy books, clothes, toys, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and much much more. If the only payment system in place on a school’s campus is directly linked to their parents bank, and cash is explicitly banned from campus, children are limited.
This closed loop system can now ensure a safe and fear free environment for children. Free from bullies, free from cash abuse, free from being a target to outside crime. It is not surprising that Sweden as the number one cashless country is also listed in the top 5 safest countries to live in.