Smartcards dont kill people -politics kills people.

October 99 News & Events

Smartcards don't kill people, politics kills people. This is Net1 Applied Technology's response to media reports linking taxi violence to the roll-out of a smartcard payment programme.

"Many factors are responsible for violence," says Net1 Executive Director Hanoch Neishlos, "but technology certainly isn't one. We accept no linkage between violence and technology, smartcards included."

Several taxi drivers belonging to different taxi associations have been killed in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. Media speculation has identified the recently implemented smartcard system as a possible reason for the attacks, but both Net1 and its partner the SA Local and Long Distance Taxi and Bus Organisation (SALLDTBO) disagree. "The perception that smartcards create violence is wrong. It is completely unfounded," says SALLDTBO Executive Chairman Simon Sentle.

There is, however, a rival card payment system in operation in Soshanguve and this is big business. Net1 says it invests between R3 million and R4 million in every 1000 taxis fitted. The business has a current cash flow in excess of R400 million per year. But Sentle says no pressure was put on associations not using the same system and that their business was not under threat. "Everyone is happy," he says.

The smartcard system is part of Net1's ambition to establish a cashless national payment system. Especially targeted at unbanked and underbanked sectors of the economy, the system holds no inherent cost for the user. Net1's substantial profits are derived from the companies making use of the service which now includes large retailers and taxi owners. "Taxis are fundamental for the national payment system," Neishlos says. He foresees taxis becoming financial services hubs for cardholders, as the terminals can handle all necessary transactions.

Both Neishlos and Sentle believe the timing of the new outbreak of violence is entirely co-incidental. They do admit that the new system may be used as an excuse for the settling of grudges. "There is underlying politics involved here," Neishlos says.

The taxi industry as a whole has a long, complicated and often violent history. Soshanguve is no exception. Neishlos notes that Shoshanguve was not the first area where the system was rolled out and that as many as 1000 taxis use the technology outside of Soshanguve.

Net1 is particularly upset about the media focus on its product because it believes itself responsible for social upliftment. The implementation of smartcards has seen taxi drivers receive social benefits and taxi owners can now receive finance, insurance and other services previously hard to secure. Not only that, but Net1 believes it is making the industry much more accountable.

"It is now impossible for these taxis to be overloaded," says Sentle. If the limit is 15 and 17 people are loaded, the card shows us this and we can deal with the driver responsible." SALLDTBO says there was widespread corruption and petty fraud in its industry. Palm greasing and the occasional pocketing of a few hundred rand was not unusual. With the cash element removed, the association says, corruption has dropped to zero.

Meanwhile the roll-out of the technology will go ahead as planned. Another 6000 taxis are to have systems installed in the Western and Eastern Cape regions and the Nelspruit area. "We will not be deterred by violence," Neishlos vows. Net1 will consider further action based on police reports.

Source: ITWeb for Net1 Applied Technology





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Pentagon appointed as Milestone distributor
Elvey Security Technologies News & Events Surveillance
Milestone Systems appointed Pentagon Distribution (an Elvey Group company within the Hudaco Group of Companies) as a distributor. XProtect’s open architecture means no lock-in and the ability to customise the connected video solution that will accomplish the job.

Read more...
Sophos celebrates partners and cybersecurity innovation at annual conference
News & Events Information Security
[Sponsored] Sun City hosted Sophos' annual partner event this year, which took place from 12 to 14 March. Sophos’ South African cybersecurity distributors and resellers gathered for an engaging two-day conference.

Read more...
Sales basics for security installers
News & Events
Being the best security business in South Africa means little if no one uses your services. Your business success is only partly linked to how good you are at security installations.

Read more...
From security technician to salesperson
News & Events
Being great at security sales starts with having the right mindset. How you think informs what you say and how you act; and how you act informs the results you will achieve in your business.

Read more...
From the Editor's Desk: Something old and something new
Technews Publishing News & Events
      Welcome to the 2024 edition of SMART Security Solutions’ Mining Handbook. Mining is a challenging industry for security professionals, although security is a challenge on this continent, no matter your ...

Read more...
Risk management: There's an app for that
Editor's Choice News & Events Risk Management & Resilience
Zulu Consulting has streamlined the corporate risk management process with the launch of Risk-IO, a web-based app designed to consolidate and guide risk managers through the process, monitoring progress as one proceeds.

Read more...
Integrated information platform for risk management
Editor's Choice News & Events Risk Management & Resilience
Online Intelligence recently launched version 7 of its CiiMS risk and security platform. Speaking to SMART Security Solutions after the launch event, the company’s Arnold van den Bout described the enhancements in version 7.

Read more...
Unlocking Africa's AI potential
Editor's Choice News & Events AI & Data Analytics
Africa's AI market is set to grow exponentially; by investing in AI education, training, and ethical practices, African nations can harness the power of AI to transform the continent and create a brighter future for its people.

Read more...
Linking of security officers by security businesses
PSiRA (Private Security Ind. Regulatory Authority) News & Events Risk Management & Resilience
[Sponsored] By law, all security businesses are required to declare their employees to PSiRA so that they can be accounted for administratively. Failure to link employees by security businesses is a contravention of the Code of Conduct and a criminal offence.

Read more...
Milestone XPerience Day South Africa
Milestone Systems News & Events
The 2024 Milestone XPerience Day in Johannesburg took place on 01 February 2024, where the video technology sector’s brightest and best minds gathered to share information and networking.

Read more...