Johannesburg – National Treasury has failed in its oversight role at banks and therefore Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his top management should be fired, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) said on Friday.

The league has, for the first time, come out publicly calling for Gordhan to be replaced. ANCYL Secretary Njabulo Nzuza said financial institutions continued to enjoy protection from the Treasury, which continued to serve the needs of "white monopoly capital".

"Our government deployee, since arriving at Treasury, has not made sure that that there is restructuring...now we want a different kind of calibre cadre that would dismantle the approach of protecting banks in South Africa," said Nzuza.

"It is not Gordhan only, we are coming for the whole Treasury staff...they must change their mindset, those who do not want to shape up must shape out."

The league's president, Collen Maine, could, however, not reveal whom his organisation wanted to replace Gordhan.

"The appointment of ministers remains the prerogative of the President [Jacob Zuma], the MEC in Gauteng resigned because death happened under her watch, she resigned. If we had a name, we would have to lobby the president as he is the one who appoints," Maine told reporters in Johannesburg following the ANCYL national executive committee meeting.

The league's campaign against Barclays-owned ABSA continued last week when thousands of supporters marched to the bank's head office in Johannesburg, demanding that ABSA pay back billions of apartheid-era rands it had received from the fiscus.

Nzuza said ABSA was a "repeat offender" and its banking licence should be reviewed and revoked.

The country's Competition Commission this week said it found that at least 17 banks had been involved in price-fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand since April 2015.

Implicated banks included Africa's Absa, Investec and Standard Bank. The commission has referred the matter to a tribunal for prosecution.