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Johannesburg - First National Bank (FNB) has officially apologised to the African National Congress for its”You Can Help” campaign, the party said on Friday.
“The CEO of FirstRand, Mr Sizwe Nxasana, agreed that the research clippings that were posted online were regrettable; he apologised for the posting of the research clippings online,” the ANC said in a statement.
“He then assured the meeting that this regrettable incident will not be repeated.”
The apology followed a meeting on Thursday between FNB and the leadership of the ANC, led by its secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.
The FNB campaign features a number of videos of children in school uniform reading their hopes for the country. Opposition parties and activist groups said the ANC's criticism of the campaign showed its intolerance.
“The meeting provided for constructive, robust and honest dialogue between both parties,” the ANC said.
During the meeting, the ANC pointed out that the video clips were a deliberate attack on the ANC.
The clips fed into the opposition narrative that sought to project the ANC and government in a negative manner, it said.
The ANC said the clips had a negative impact on business confidence and could undermine the promotion of investment into the country.
“The ANC indicated that its leadership and membership were strongly raising a question why the organisation should continue to bank with a bank that has adopted an oppositional (sic) stance to it.”
Nxasa explained to the ruling party the objectives of their youth campaign and stressed that it was meant to inspire all South Africans to work together by helping one another.
FNB expressed its commitment to the National Development Plan in addressing the areas of poverty, inequality and unemployment, the ANC said. - Sapa