The banking industry was not only greatly concentrated and monopolised, but also, in many ways, did not serve the interests of the youth , Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said at the BRICS Youth Summit that is being held in Durban.
She said the youth have the intellectual responsibility to break society from their seeming acceptance of rentier capitalism as an accepted orthodoxy.
“BRICS Youth leaders should lead the charge against this and other forms of exploitation where we literally have to pay to survive - you need to imagine a society where everyone has basic socio-economic security.
She said the summit delegates should “re-imagine an Alternative Banking and Financing Architecture for the Global South.”
Productive societies require productive sectors of the economy, industrialised around manufactured finished goods and away from the shipping of raw materials.
“Those who prefer us shipping raw materials will not fund our manufacturing plants. They will not fund a rail system that connects the content for the movement of people, goods and services. We need an alternative public banking and finance system beyond the dominant one, and we need it urgently,” she said.
She said that The New Development Bank (which has Bric countries as its members) “is thus a step in the right direction, but we need to domesticate alternative banking as a matter of urgency.”
“For example, in South Africa, we are forced to kneel before five banks. This represents some of the most concentrated banking systems in the world. The greater concentration of banking to the big five has clearly undermined accountability, hindered development, stifled competition and passed on the cost burden to citizens,” she said.
“Without control over finance and banking, only those projects that converge with the interest of private interests will be funded while the interests of the communities we serve take a back seat,” she said.
“I expect your summit to drive an in-depth and substantive understanding of your economic strengths as BRICS, of the BRICS nations, has a competitive advantage.
In Russia, you have a very strong energy and defence industry. In India, you have an incredible ICT sector.
In Brazil, you have a very strong agricultural sector. China remains an unmatched manufacturing and infrastructural hub. South Africa’s strength has a strong mining and tourism sector.
Your summit should be able to connect entrepreneurs from Brasilia with those in Mumbai, those in Beijing with those in Johannesburg and Moscow,” she said.