NEWS & ANALYSIS

Exploitation by banks of black South Africans condemned – MKMVA

Association says big banks are quick to close accounts of successful black businesses

MKMVA condemns the ongoing exploitation by major banks and financial institutions of black South Africans

28 April 2021

The Treasurer General of MKMVA, comrade Des Van Rooyen, speaking today at the Long walk to Freedom March In Katlehong, in honor of comrade Chris Hani, reiterated that Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) condemns the ongoing, uncontested actions by the major banks and financial institutions as they remain untransformed for many years.

Comrade Van Rooyen said that the big banks, with specific reference to the likes of Absa and First National Bank SA, are quick to close the accounts of many a successful black business, citing “reputational risk”. He pointed out that FNB in particular, “does not have to show justified cause” for terminating a banking contract with any individual, nor company.

Comrade Van Rooyen said: “We are aware that many black homeowners, are being red flagged by racist banks. Black homeowners are paying higher interest rates on their home loans than their white counterparts. No empathy nor compassion was shown to black homeowners who lost their jobs or only received a percentage of their salaries during the COVID-19 period”.

Last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic the then Minister of Small Business Development, comrade Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, had to make the shameful admission that the major benefactors of COVID-19 relief funds were white entrepreneurs, and that black small and medium size businesses were almost totally disregarded by the major banks who were administering the funds. Evidently the hundreds of billions of Rand in Covid­relief funds were never intended to service black South Africans.

Black South Africans (especially Africans) continue to be subjected to massive car-repossession just because they are black. Similarly black South Africans continue to lose their businesses just because they are black, and likewise the continiue to lose their homes just because they are black.

All of this happens in the context of very important Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Resolutions that were taken at the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress in 2017, that our financial institutions and banks must be fundamentally, and radically, transformed in order the empower black South Africans, and ensure that adequate and affordable capital is available for the development of black entrepeneurship. Furthermore it was resolved that it is critical and urgent for a State Bank to be established. Sadly today, on Freedom Day, three and a half years later we must acknowledge these Resolutions have not yet been implimented, while the major banks continue be given carte blanche to continue with their unbridled super-exploitation of our people. This is a totally unacceptable, and indeed untenable, situation.

MKMVA has therefore resolved to work for unity within the ranks of the ANC in order to address these very serious matters, and to take the lead in society to ensure the fundamental transformation of our financial institutions - with specific reference to the fundamental transformation of the large racist banks.

Together with millions of concerned and outraged South Africansd MKMVA says, enough is enough!

#RacistBanksMustFall!

Issued by Carl Niehaus, NEC Member of MKMVA and National Spokesperson, 27 April 2021