The South African Society of Bank Officials ( SASBO) has provided details on their planned nationwide strike action this Friday. Around 40 000 members are expected to take part in the strike against the retrenchment of workers and digitization of banking systems.

SASBO’s General Secretary, Joe Kokela, says the union will ensure that ATM’s and banking operations are not functional. In Gauteng, it will start at Cosatu House down to the bank city where the memorandum will be handed over.  In Durban, they will go to the City Hall.

All the planned strikes are scheduled to start at 10 am.

Kokela says their application to strike has been approved by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), therefore members who participate in the strike will be protected.  The strike which the union has been anticipating for the past two weeks will affect consumers this week when most people expect to get their salaries.

He says all of the country’s four major banks will be affected by the strike.

” We’ve got a permit, we’ve got permission to hold our strike on the 27th of September so all our people who will be taking part in this strike, they will be protected by law, and no one of them is going to be dismissed and no one of them is going to loose any job because they participated in this strike,” expressed Kokela.

Managing Director of the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA),  Cas Coovadia, says the current retrenchments in the banking sector are because there is no growth in the economy.

He says when businesses are not growing, their volumes decrease and that ultimately affects jobs.

He says the current lack of policy certainty erodes the confidence needed for investment which could lead to business growth and greater employment.

“I think retrenchments whether in the banking sector or elsewhere are essentially happening because there is no business growth, and businesses are restructuring just to remain efficient both in their employment area, in their capital area just to remain afloat and keep their heads above water. So the issues is that we’ve got to address what is the problem and the problem is that we are no creating an environment for investment and for business growth.”