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Monday, May 23, 2022

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‘South African Mafia banks are destroying 8 000 jobs’

The logos of Absa, Standard Bank and First National Bank adorn buildings in Cape Town. These three financial institutions, along with Nedbank, are putting thousands of jobs at risk and indirectly inflicting poverty on at least 40 000 dependants. Picture: Mike Hutchings/African News Agency (ANA)

The logos of Absa, Standard Bank and First National Bank adorn buildings in Cape Town. These three financial institutions, along with Nedbank, are putting thousands of jobs at risk and indirectly inflicting poverty on at least 40 000 dependants. Picture: Mike Hutchings/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 12, 2022

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SOUTH African Banks are exacerbating the country’s unemployment rate by closing bank accounts willy nilly under the dubious guise of reputational risk. Is the economy of South Africa doing so well that the banks find it justified to risk thousands of jobs?

The case involving the Sekunjalo Group, its chairman Dr Iqbal Survé and related entities is an illustration of how the banks are putting thousands of jobs at risk and indirectly inflicting poverty on at least 40 000 dependants.

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Nedbank was instructed to close Sekunjalo and related entities’ bank accounts as well as Survé’s and other executives, even though neither Sekunjalo nor its executives have not been charged with any crime.

In a country where job creation is at the forefront, we still find that those in power are working against us and not with us. Small business owners are working tirelessly to build their businesses, create jobs and contribute to economic growth, but they are last to receive support, especially from the banks.

As South Africans, we are forced to protect our jobs at all costs as well as create more, and financial institutions such as the banks should be loyal to this call and invest in job-creation projects. Instead, Nedbank decides to impact 8 000 jobs and more than 40 000 dependants.

Our so-called government has said it has placed economic growth and job creation at the centre of its agenda. What agenda? When it is our government that is standing behind and watching thousands of people lose their jobs at the hands of the banks that they have been loyal to for years.

The only agenda is looking out for themselves and anyone who dares to call them out for who and what they are, will be bullied and their livelihoods destroyed.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa called on all South African in the private and public sectors to work together to reduce the level of unemployment, it seemed that the South African banks were on their own mission to cut jobs.

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More than 1.5 million small business owners in South Africa are struggling to sustain their businesses because they cannot get access to financial help from financial institutions, including the banks. Why are South African banks not active in this space and creating a real impact that results in job creation in our country?

Would opening a black bank be the answer or should we call for equality and fairness for all? The mission should be to create more jobs, not put them at risk.

Today it is the Sekunjalo Group, tomorrow it could be another black-owned company. Will it ever stop? We should be working together to create jobs and economic growth in South Africa. Isn’t that the ultimate goal for South Africans?

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