- Parliament has published a national gazette for public comments on proposed amendments to the Banks Act
- The draft bill is the brainchild of the EFF and its deputy leader Floyd Shivambu
- The amendments aims to allow the government to register and conduct a bank in terms of the Banks Act, the current act does not allow for this
Millions of South Africans could be one step closer to being served by a state-owned bank if recent developments around the matter go-ahead. Parliament has published a national gazette for public comments on proposed amendments to the Banks Act.
The draft bill is the brainchild of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its deputy leader Floyd Shivambu. The EFF has long called for the nationalisation of banks in South Africa.
The amendment aims to allow the government to register and conduct a bank in terms of the Banks Act, the current act does not allow for the government to do so.
Briefly.co.za gathered that this is the main reason why the Postbank cannot as it currently stands operate as a commercial bank.
“The requirements imposed by the Banks Act before a person may conduct the business of a bank, and register as such, makes it impossible for state-owned companies registered in terms of the Companies Act to conduct the business of a bank,” the draft reads.
Shivambu said he was confident the current process unfolding in Parliament would deliver a state-owned bank to serve the interests of millions of South Africans.
“We know as a matter of fact that at the end of this process we’re going to amend the Banks Act,” he said. He added that the intention of the amendment was to enable the state to own commercial banks in South Africa.
Shivambu expressed his frustration that current legislation did not allow for state-owned banks such as Postbank to function as commercial banks, because the Banks Act placed limitations on what constitutes a commercial bank.
Postbank CEO Mike Barnes said his priority for 2018 was to ensure that he obtained a commercial licence for the entity.
Shivambu said the amendment would allow for the creation of provincial and local state-owned banks. He said these banks would adopt a developmental mandate.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it would oppose the draft bill in Parliament.
“With more South Africans dependent on social grants than there are in employment, the EFF’s bill will propose to have a population both indebted and dependent on the government,” DA MP Gwen Ngwenya said.
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