The South African banking union, SASBO has warned that the banking strike which has been set for Friday, September 27, could bring the financial services sector to a complete standstill.
The union expects around 30,000 – 40,000 of it’s members to stay away from work throughout Gauteng, the Free State, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in protest of possible retrenchments in the banking sector.
Trade federation Cosatu are in support of the strike and could possible join the protest.
SASBO’s Joe Kokela said a moratorium has been requested from the banks regarding job losses. They have requested that the salaries for the CEO and executive staff be investigated as they are exorbitantly high compared to what workers are earning.
The union are also demanding that banks explain their plans to upskill and reskill workers and whether jobs are at risk.
Kokela also warned that the public may not be able to assess their funds on the day due to South Africa’s four major banks being affected by the strike.
It has been reported that a large number of local banks have closed physical branches due to the introduction of self-service digital banking via mobile applications and online services.
Over recent months banks have been consulting with staff regarding cuts. Standard Bank are closing 91 branches, ABSA are restructuring operations throughout all their branches and Nedbank are in negotiations with 1,500 employees regarding job losses and redeployment.
While some routes are still being finalised, according to the SASBO website major marches are planned in Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
According to EWN the march in Gauteng will start from Cosatu headquarters in Braamfontein and continue to Bank City in the Johannesburg CBD, where around 15,000-20,000 protesters are expected.
South Africa’s biggest banks are preparing for the strike action in the hopes that business will continue despite the major strike.
Mobile applications, USSD (internet banking, unstructured supplementary services data) and ATMs should all be available as well as the ability to transact at retail outlets and supermarkets.
SARS may be affected by the strike
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) have warned that tax payments and refund transaction may be affected by the strike and has called on taxpayers to submit their payments two business days in advance to avoid any possible delays.