There is a need to create public banks in SA: Mapaila

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The South African Communist Party (SACP) is waging a war against the country’s banking and financial sector. General Secretary of SACP, Solly Mapaila says the country’s commercial banks are benefitting at the expense of the workers and the poor masses and so there is a need to create public banks in South Africa.

He says the Reserve Bank must also play a developmental role, supporting industrialisation and large-scale sustainable employment creation.

Speaking at an event to mark the 28th anniversary of the death of SACP leader Joe Slovo at Avalon cemetery in Soweto on Friday, Mapaila says the Reserve Bank must change its monetary policy regime adopted since 1996 which he says has failed the country.

SACP commemorates anniversary of Joe Slovo’s death: 

‘Developmental role’

Mapaila says the Reserve Bank needs to play a developmental role that supports industrialisation and large-scale job creation.

“For instance, they can control prices through government interventions. You cannot control the war by NATO in Ukraine. The aggression by imperialist forces that are making oil not available and therefore the cost of everything to be expensive. That’s not under our control. Why do we allow that process to lead our interventions on the interest rates in our country? So, therefore we are punishing the poor. What about the rich? The rich makes more money when interest rates are raised,” laments Mapaila.

Mapaila says the five dominant commercial banks in the country are being given free rein. He says there’s a need for the creation of a public banking system or alternative financial institutions.

“The Soweto people can have their own bank. When we started our financial sector campaign we received research work that was indicating that Soweto alone, stokvels, burial societies, we’re sending to the commercial banks in Johannesburg, R64-million a week – they could not create their own bank,” says Mapaila.

Load shedding

Speaking at an event to mark the 28th anniversary of the death of SACP leader Joe Slovo at Avalon cemetery in Soweto on Friday, Mapaila says Joe Slovo was an activist and leader in the struggle for liberation. He says Slovo is being commemorated amid the devastating effects brought about by load shedding.

“Loadshedding is not only a direct result of state capture activities at Eskom. It is also a direct result of failed Neo-Liberal economic paradigm adopted by our government,” says Mapaila.

Tripartite Alliance

On the reconfiguration of the Tripartite Alliance, Mapaila says they want the exercise of political power to be reconfigured.

“Power is not being exercised appropriately. We are also part of that power albeit an inadequate part of that power. So we need the reconfiguration of that power. So that is what we are talking about when we are talking about the reconfiguration of the alliance. It is the reconfiguration of the exercise of political power in our country because it is this alliance that is leading our country,” says Mapaila.

The Youth Communist League says Slovo’s commemoration is not a ritual but an important moment to pause and reflect on the life of the icon of the struggle for liberation in the country.

“It is an important moment to reflect on his work in the liberation struggle, his teachings, value systems and ethos and his vigour and steadfastness to confront colonialism and apartheid capitalism and all its manifestations,” says Mzwandile Thakudi, YCL National Secretary.

Alliance leaders laid wreaths at Slovo’s grave.

Annual commemoration of death of struggle stalwart Joe Slovo: