Saturday, July 20 2024

The ruling party has for the first time thrown its full weight behind the SACP’s financial sector campaign aimed at forcing banks to reduce their fees.
It is expected that the ruling party will discuss the matter at its upcoming national executive committee lekgotla next week since the campaign was included in their election manifesto.
The country’s four major banks – Standard Bank, Absa, FNB and Nedbank – have not previously come under so much scrutiny from the ANC.
SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said the party had welcomed the ANC’s resolve to force commercial banks to reduce their charges.
“The SACP welcomes the mobilisation by the ANC. The president spoke about making banking accessible and the excessive charges, which the (the SACP campaign) focuses on,” he said.
“We are beginning to see practical steps to forge ahead in the transformation of the economy.”
Since its start in 2000 under former president Thabo Mbeki, the SACP financial sector campaign did not enjoy the prominence it has now under President Jacob Zuma.
But Mashilo denied that Zuma’s call over the weekend that ANC branches support the campaign was a sign of the growing influence the party has over the ANC.
“This is no longer an SACP campaign, it has become part of the trajectory to transform the economy,” he said.
But the campaign is set to face resistance from the national Treasury.
It is understood that the SACP’s campaign faced resistance before it was included in the ruling party’s manifesto last year.
Those pushing for free market policies warned that targeting banks could discourage investment into the country and result in the banks divesting.
Addressing the ANC’s 103 birthday celebrations at Cape Town Stadium over the weekend, Zuma urged the ruling party’s alliance partners to join the SACP campaign.
The party’s financial sector campaign is aimed at forcing commercial banks to reduce their charges.
“Banking has become much more accessible to the majority of South Africans, but the excessive bank charges and fees mean that people still cannot afford bank services.
” The ANC is moving ahead with the efforts to start a bank directly linked to, and administered by, the Post Office,” Zwane said.
“ANC branches must work more closely with our alliance partners on their financial sector campaigns to make banking services even more affordable to our people and to ensure that this sector becomes more diversified.” he added
Source: Sowetan


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