Dear Numsa Bulletin

Please can you assist me with information around the SACP policy on South African banking systems eg Standard Bank, ABSA, First National Bank and others and SACP’s view on the way of doing things in the SA banking system. Comradely yours in struggle for socialism M. Selokoma

Dear cde SelokomaAs the SACP we do not have a policy on banking. However, in line with our financial sector campaign we made a number of demands which call for the transformation and diversification of the sector. In 2000 when we launched our Red October campaign we called on banks to serve the people. The manner in which capitalist banks are operating is seriously disadvantaging the poor; more so in that they are not contributing anything in ensuring that our people have access to banking services. Banking services in our country are so expensive that the majority of our people are not accessing the services, hence our call for an affordable banking for the poor and the working – victoriously so, this led to the establishment of the so-called Mzansi account. Despite its limitations, it has afforded many people access to banking services of whom the majority are women. The other thing is there is monopoly of banking in this country. This expresses itself through the fact that there is no other banking except capitalist profit-obsessed banks.In line with this abnormality we have called for the creation through legislation of community and co-operative banks. Our research and study of countries in which these kinds of banks exist, informs us that these kinds of banking systems are able to address some of the basic needs of people ranging from these banks investing in development and food production and other things. A Cyprus example indicated that co-op banks are able to look after crí¨ches and women empowerment. These banks are not obsessed with profit but with job creation and poverty eradication. We are currently seeking to broaden this campaign in terms of engaging not only the banks but the entire financial sector. In line with this view we are calling for a once off credit amnesty from the credit bureaux. The majority of black people are blacklisted. As such they are unable to benefit from anything ranging from the ability to be economically active to denying people the right to borrow, buy a car, house or to study. We therefore think that a once off amnesty will go far in addressing this problem.

For more information please visit our website: Mohau Media Liaison OfficerSouth African Communist Party (SACP)