File photo: Rogan Ward/Reuters.

CAPE TOWN – The Banking Association of South Africa (Basa) on Monday said it would be "business as usual" at the country's banks on Friday despite the announced protest action by employees over planned retrenchments.

In a statement, the association confirmed it would go to court on Wednesday for an interdict to stop the strike action organised by the Cosatu-affiliated South African Society of Bank Officials (Sasbo).

"Business Unity South African (Busa) is seeking to stop the Cosatu protest, as the trade union federation’s notice sent to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) - under which Sasbo is planning to act – may not have satisfied the requirements for the action to be legally protected," Basa said.

"The Nedlac notice was first issued in August 2017 and should not be relied on in 2019. The matter is scheduled to be heard in court on the 25th September."

Basa said its members would try to keep disruptions to a minimum on Friday.

"Banks will be operating as usual on the day. However, in case of any unavoidable disruptions at branches, bank customers should as far as possible make use of digital banking services. Banks will be carefully monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of their customers and staff."

Basa claimed the cutting of staff at banks was a global phenomenon brought on by economic pressures, digital innovation and changes in the way customers use financial services.

Sasbo general secretary Joe Kokela told African News Agency the union was engaging its lawyers to oppose the application to interdict workers from going on strike.

"We are going to oppose the court action, we are speaking to our lawyers," Kokela said.

He said around 10,000 employees in the banking sector stand to lose their jobs should the restructuring plans go ahead. 

African News Agency (ANA)