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Campaigns  |  Miscellaneous

The people demand!

Workers unite against redlining!

Saturday, October 21 is RED SATERDAY

The people demand!
The people demand! The people demand!

Red
Saturday

The people demand! The people demand!

All over the country people will be marching to campaign for people's banks.

Join the marches and pickets to make a public statement:

Banks must change to serve the people!

Our demands Details of marches

We demand :

  • affordable credit for working people and the poor!

  • funds for low low cost housing and development!

  • co-operative banks that serve the needs of poor people!

  • banking facilities in working-class and rural areas!

  • law that outlaw loan sharks!

  • banks that protect jobs and bargaining in good faith with trade unions!

  • NEDLAC to convene a sectoral summit on the financial sector!

  • an end to redlining of working class and rural communities!

March for People's Banks!

Saturday 21 October

Region Venue Time Speakers
Johannesburg Library Gardens 09:00 Blade Nzimande,
Thenjiwe Mthintso,
Zwelinzima Vavi
Cape Town District Six 10:00 Jeremy Cronin,
Joyce Pekane
Durban Curries Fountain 10:00 Gwede Mantashe,
Sbu' Ndebele,
Willie Madisha
Pietersburg Mimosa Club 10:00 Nomvula Mokonyane,
Arlenah Rantsolase,
Peter Mokaba
Klerksdorp Shoprite / Checkers 09:00 Jerrry Thibedi,
Essop Pahad,
Joseph Nkosi
Witbank Lynville Park 10:00 Ronnie Kasrils,
Zokwane
Nelspruit Valencia Stadium 10:00 Thabang Makwetla,
Philip Dexter

The campaign has also been endorsed by the following organisations:

Various COSATU Affiliates, SA NGO Coalition, National African Chamber of Commerce, SA Council of Churches, Federated Chamber of African Business, Gauteng Hawkers' Association, SA Credit Co-operatives League, 1 million Women Savings' Movement, hundreds of locally based community co-operatives


Banks make it difficult for many people to use banking services

Banks must serve the people!

To use a bank or to have a bank account is very important. A bank account makes it possible for workers working in towns far away from their families to deposit money for their families. Having a bank account also means that money is kept safe. A bank account also helps people save for their needs and their money can grow by earning interest. Through a bank, people can get loans for housing, starting small businesses and for our children's education.

Therefore a bank account (and banking) is a basic service all South Africans should have.

More than 15 million South Africans cannot use banks. Many people who live in townships and rural areas have to go to city centres to use banks.

Banks also do not allow poor people to open bank accounts. For example, in 1999 a Johannesburg Nedbank branch required a minimum salary of R 3 000 before a domestic worker could open an ordinary savings account. She was earning R1000 a month. South Africa is a country where more than 2 million employed people earn less than R 1 500 each month. Even worse, more than 4 million people are not employed. Many people will never be able to open and use a bank account because they do not earn the R 3 000 needed by Nedbank and other banks.

In other words short, banks deny underpaid workers and unemployed people the right to open and use bank accounts.

Even if you are lucky enough to open a bank account, the banks still punish you

Banks must serve the people!

There are many bank charges and it is difficult for poor people to gain from their bank accounts. You get charged for every ATM withdrawal. You get charged even more if you withdraw money from the counter. With an average bank interest rate of 14+ACU-, for every R 100 you borrow from the bank, you pay back R 14 more than you have borrowed. For many people, these interest rates are unaffordable and make borrowing money very expensive. But the banks give the rich allowances and preferential rates even though the rich can actually afford to pay higher charges and rates.

But the charges and interest rates are not as high for the rich.

Banks are not doing enough to support small businesses, development and the fight against poverty

Banks must serve the people!

Many people try to make a living by starting small spaza shops, selling on the streets and other small businesses. They go to the banks for loans and support. Banks make it difficult for our people to get loans for small businesses by asking for security or cash deposits first.

If you live in a township or rural area, it is difficult to get a bank loan to buy a new house or improve your current house because of red-lining. Red-lining is the practice by banks not to finance housing loans and investing in townships and inner cities because banks believe these areas to be a "high risk" and "low returns" for their shareholders. This affects black people more and keeps our areas under-developed. Red-lining leads to the decay of townships and inner cities.

Many people collect their money as groups in stokvels, burial societies and savings clubs. This money is then deposited with the banks. But members of burial societies cannot get loans or use this money for community development. They can only use the money for funerals. Instead the banks use this money to serve the rich - in shopping malls, expensive cars and other luxuries. Banks do not invest in townships and rural areas where our people stay.

Banks must serve the people!

Banks must serve the people!

The bosses own and use the banks against the people

We take our monies to the banks for safekeeping and expect that the banks will support our interests to develop our communities, crush poverty and for a better life.

Instead we get punished through high bank charges, high interest rates and our money is used to support the rich and their interests. In other words, black people, women and poor people get punished by banks without any good reason.

The banks act like this because they are actually owned by the rich - the bosses. The bosses are only interested to make more profits from their workers and poor people. The banks help the bosses do this.

March for peoples banks!

We must take action to make the banks serve the people

We can stop the banks from exploiting us. We can make the banks serve us.

March for peoples banks!

March for peoples banks!

The government can and must pass laws to make banks serve the people. The government must stop banks from redlining and high bank charges and interest rates.

We can use our power to make the banks do what we want. Join the countrywide marches and pickets on 21 October to make a public statement and say Banks must change to serve the people!.

We can use our money to build co-operative banks

Every week, the banks receive millions from stokvels, burial societies and savings clubs. But this money cannot be used for development and fighting poverty.

Why can our people not develop community owned and controlled co-operative banks? This is possible.

For example, in Ghana and Bangladesh, communities have built big community owned and controlled co-operative banks, which serve the people and their needs. These banks charge lower interest rate and than rates charged by private commercial banks.

Co-operative banks work if they are supported and if its members and workers are trained.

We can also use co-operative banks to build other co-operatives to create jobs and meet our needs.

Co-operative banks need initial financial and other support from government. This needs support from government. We need laws to build co-operative banks and other co-operatives.

We demand :

March for peoples banks!
  • affordable credit for working people and the poor!

  • funds for low low cost housing and development!

  • co-operative banks that serve the needs of poor people!

  • banking facilities in working-class and rural areas!

  • law that outlaw loan sharks!

  • banks that protect jobs and bargaining in good faith with trade unions!

  • NEDLAC to convene a sectoral summit on the financial sector!

  • an end to redlining of working class and rural communities!


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