Everything you need to know about bank strike South Africa

Everything you need to know about bank strike South Africa

The bank strike is imminent in South Africa, and with almost everyone very dependent on banks, there are so many questions to be answered. The bank strike in South Africa has been a problem waiting to happen, especially if you take a closer look at the root of the problem. We will give you an outline on the reasons for the strike, when it will happen, for how long, how to prepare for it and much more.

Everything you need to know about bank strike South Africa

Image: flickr.com, @Hans Erik
Source: UGC

The bank strike South Africa 2019 will be the second strike ever in South African history. The first strike took place in 1920 and lasted for a few hours. This time, however, the bank officials are very deliberate about their quest. They will not stop until their complaints are addressed adequately.

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They say that the South African Society of Bank Officials plans to have two strikes. One on the 27th of September and the other one if they are not heard. The first strike will begin a minute past 12 and end a minute past 12 on the 28th. This is to teach the banking sector a lesson to show how important the working community is to Mzansi.

What are the reasons for the strike?

The domino effect is felt strongly by the banking industry. One fault leads to another and another until there is complete chaos.

The bank strike South Africa

Image: flickr.com, @TheTruthAbout
Source: UGC

The planned protest is to call for action to be taken against the job losses in the industry. People have lost their jobs in the following ways:

  • There is corporate greed. The need to maximise profits has become more important than the employees. For example, in 2019, about 10,000 people in the sector lost their jobs while high ranking officials were making vast amounts of money per day.
  • Earlier in the year, Standard Bank closed 91 of their branches leading to so many people losing their source of income. ABSA also announced that several jobs would be at risk following their recent restructuring procedures.
  • Increased digitisation of banking processes has also led to several people losing their jobs, and this seems like an inevitable consequence of technology.

Where will the strike be?

The union is planning to have five marches throughout the country:

  • In Johannesburg, starting from Cosatu house;
  • In Durban, towards City Hall;
  • In Bloemfontein;
  • In Port Elizabeth ;
  • In Cape Town.

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How to prepare for the strike

For all of those who are not bankers, you are probably wondering, 'What does this strike mean for me? '. Well for starters, it means a whole lot of hold-ups and delays, but this can be dealt as long as you plan adequately.

The first thing you will want to do is to withdraw money in advance, that is, before Friday. The money should be enough to cater for a while since several ATMs may be dysfunctional during this time. This is because the employees at the banks are responsible for the programs running the ATMs and them not being at work means none is there to ensure the smooth running of the machines in the background.

Secondly, you will need to minimise your need to go to the banks. Technology really comes as a lifesaver here. By downloading your bank's app, you can almost do anything without the need of actually going to the bank. This will save you the hassle of going to the bank and not finding anyone to serve you.

The last thing you will want to do is pay your taxes to SARS. The South African Revenue Service has warned that the strike may cause a slight disruption of the daily activities, especially for those who want to pay, so do it in advance.

"The anticipated bank strike in South Africa may impact transactions related to tax payments and tax refunds. We would like to ensure that the impact of the strike on these transactions are minimised for both the taxpayer and SARS. Taxpayers are encouraged to submit payments two business days in advance and similarly, conduct any tax transactions two business days in advance." SARS statement.

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What SASBO says about the strike

SASBO the South African Society of Bank Officials was represented by Joe Kokela, the general secretary of SASBO on SABC. He confirmed that the application to strike was approved by the National Economic Development and Labour Council. This means that all the members who strike are free to do so, and they will be protected.

There are an estimated 73,000 employees who will not go to work on that day in solidarity with the strike. The overall goal of the protest is to find ways to recreate employability for people that will be affected by the loss of their jobs.

On the first day of the strike, the members will have pickets and they will demonstrate in the streets, however, on the second day, there will be a call for a stay away of the members. This will ensure a standstill of the banks all over the country for two days, said Kokela. They hope this will be compelling enough to bring the banks back to the table so that discussions can occur.

Facts about bank strike South Africa 2019

Image: flickr.com, @Cyrus Kleege
Source: UGC

That is everything that you need to know about the strike. It is also advisable to avoid the places where the planned protest is taking place to prevent any disruptions. It would be good to see the diligent hard workers in the banks get what they deserve from their employers and those who have lost their jobs to get work.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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