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BanksMustFall marches held in Johannesburg against “racist” banks

This is the second march the movement has held. The first was in Cape Town last week. Picture: Timothy Bernard, African News Agency (ANA)

This is the second march the movement has held. The first was in Cape Town last week. Picture: Timothy Bernard, African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 29, 2021


Members of the movement RacistBanksMustFall took to the streets in Johannesburg on Thursday to march against “racist” banks.

This is the second march the movement has held. The first was in Cape Town last week.

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The movement said it was protesting against some of the decisions it felt were disadvantageous towards black people and their businesses.

Speaking to BRO, the convener of the march, Adil Nchabeleng, said: “We are tired of the racism metered against black people at the hands of racists banks. We are tired of being victimised.”

He said the movement’s members would be marching from Innisfree Park to Sandton.

“We will be handing a memorandum to the Rand Merchant Bank that is the subsidiary of First National Bank”.

Nchabeleng said they planned to protest against other big banks in the country.

“We are starting with FNB as we have heard enough about that bank as it closes black businesses bank accounts. Next, we will march to Absa and the rest of the banks,” he said.

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Nchabeleng said the campaign was ongoing. They hoped to mobilise the whole country to take part in a national march later this year.

“Banks have been racially selective in providing the R200 billion in Covid-19 relief funds. Many black businesses had to close because they did not receive the funds. We are tired of these banks,” he said.

“This movement is non-political; it is (made up of) diverse South Africans who are tired of the way black people have been treated by banks in this country. It’s people of the country who have decided to take it upon themselves to stop the discrimination.

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“The closure of Ayo Technology accounts should have been a red flag, Sekunjalo was targeted, and now Absa CEO Daniel Mminele was forced to step down. This shows how banks do as they please.”

Nchabeleng said banks were targeting black people’s assets during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“People’s cars and houses were being repossessed. They were not lending us credit, and when they do, it’s on high interest rates, that is unfair.

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“As black people, we have been too tolerant. We have been taking too much nonsense from the banks. We have waited too long to act, we decided to act,” he said.

Nchabeleng said they hoped to roll out programmes every month.

“We are hoping to gain 100 000 members. We are calling on everyone who has been affected by the racism of the banks to join us,” he said.

On Twitter, the hashtag “RacistBanksMustFall” started trending again on Thursday, as it did last week when the movement was protesting in Cape Town.

Twitter users voiced their dissatisfaction with the banks.

Recently, JSE-listed AYO Technology Solutions launched a court application on constitutional grounds against FNB after the bank gave the technology firm notice to close its transactional banking facility from May 3.

The black-owned firm said that despite its best efforts, FNB had not provided it with what it regarded as valid reasons for termination.

AYO said it suspected that FNB’s decision was political and a new form of restricting black businesses from participating in the economy, in particular in the ICT sector.


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