By SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG– SOUTH African banks have come under pressure from unions following the financial institutions’ targeting of indigenous firm, Ayo Technologies. ABSA has cut ties with the technology company while First National Bank FNB has given Ayo until May 3 to find a new bank. While reasons for the closure have been kept confidential, it is
believed to stem from allegations of financial impropriety. Unions believe the banks are doing such as part of their involvement in the factional battles of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). “We must not view the decision taken by both FNB and ABSA as guided by morality, principles or ethics,” Irvin Jim, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) General Secretary, said.
“They (banks) have taken a position on the factional battles in the governing ANC,” Jim added. It is reported Dr Iqbal Survé, chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, has angered the faction sympathetic to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ayo is an entity of Sekunjalo. Surve is believed to be a supporter of the faction supportive of former president, Jacob Zuma. “FNB and ABSA have taken sides in this battle and are attempting to drive Survé out of business as a result,” Jim said.
NUMSA is joining Ayo in its urgent application at the South Gauteng High Court, to apply for an urgent interdict restraining FNB from de-activating or closing its banking facilities.
The Public Service and Commercial Service and Commercial Union of South Africa (PSCU-SA) accused the banks of racism. “A couple of South African banks, especially Absa and First National Bank have, over the years, been willfully targeting and stifling the growth of black businesses and getting away with it,” PSCU-SA’s Tahir Maepa alleged.
“South Africa’s economy is already in dire straits. We certainly do not need racism and blatant arrogance by our banks to compound the problems that blacks are facing,” Maepa added. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) -listed Ayo has 1 275 employees. – CAJ News