Digitisation Continues To Disrupt The Banking Sector- Major Strike Planned In South Africa

By  |  September 23, 2019

A major banking strike has been planned for Friday, September 27 which is likely to affect businesses from running normally, South African Society of Bank Officials (Sasbo) has warned.

Workers of the union which is the biggest in the financial sector will go on strike in Gauteng, the Free State, the Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. The union approximates that about 30,000 of its members will stay away from work.

The banking sector workers will be demonstrating over planned job cuts and are calling for a moratorium on the same.

Sabso earlier reported that 3000 people risk losing their jobs at Nedbank. The union’s Secretary-General Joe Kokela revealed that 1800 Standard Bank employees could be sent home while Absa was looking at 878 people.

“We remain concerned about the high levels of unemployment (29 percent), the state of our economy, the current and future impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the direct and indirect societal implications, amongst others, we cannot afford for even one job to be lost,” Sasbo said in a statement.

The banking sector workers are also demanding answers from the financial institutions on how they plan to handle the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and their plans to ensure workers are up-skilled.

Some banks have closed a number of their branches as digitisation entrenches. Fully-fledged digital banks like Tymebank, First National Bank and Capitec continue to set the trend. The banks have invested in technology that guarantees growth in revenue while cutting operational costs, prompting competition in the sector.

Sasbo in a newsletter said it has been attempting to amicably solve the aforementioned problems adding that the talks unfortunately bore no fruits.

“As the most experienced human resources hands in the finance sector us, at Sasbo, understand the pressure that the bank is under. The nature of work in the South African finance industry is being rapidly and radically changed by artificial intelligence – by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For all our sakes there is no point in a bank subsidising a blatantly bankrupt branch,” the union said.

Adding, “But, when the cold winds struck too quickly, too unthinkingly and too selfishly, the banks rushed to wield the knife.”

Featured Image Courtesy: Twitter

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