SA’s cash-in-transit vehicle a resounding success
The development and manufacture in South Africa of cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicles are a breakthrough that the CSIR, its partners and all law-abiding South Africans can rightfully be proud of, says André Nepgen, Executive Director of CSIR Defence, Peace, Safety and Security.
The armoured vehicles improve the safety of security guards and minimise the occurrence of robberies. The CSIR and two private companies, OTT and TFM, are involved in the development and manufacture, respectively, of these vehicles.
A member of the Democratic Alliance (DA) alleged in Parliament during the recent Science Vote that the CSIR might have been “bullied” into the project by Denel, as the CSIR’s President and CEO serves on Denel’s board. The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Mosibudi Mangena, affirmed in his response to the DA that Denel has never been involved in this project at any stage.
“The decision to develop this vehicle rested with the CSIR and is in line with our mandate to be a leader in science and technology,” responds Nepgen. “This decision, as well as the one to take the initial financial risk, was without doubt the right one to take. Interest in the vehicle is so strong that the two manufacturers mentioned are currently in full-time production of the vehicles. Since the start of production in 2004, orders have been placed for some 300 vehicles, testifying to a highly successful product,” comments Nepgen. Royalties from orders already on the books will cover the CSIR's development costs.
The vehicles provide better protection, stability and mobility and are thus more expensive that other models available on the market. Finance is currently the only reason cited by some security companies for not yet having acquired these vehicles.
“The CIT vehicle is one of our top South African technological developments aimed at improving quality of life of our people, manufacturing world-class products and using government funding productively and to the benefit of the people of South Africa. The CSIR is particularly proud of this project and of our contribution in this area as a national organisation,” comments Nepgen.