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Banking Strike: How To Survive Through the Strike

The South African Society of Bank Officials (Sasbo) is planning a nationwide banking strike on Friday 27th September at 10 AM. This will affect all banks associated, with numbers running up to 70 000 bank employees downing tools for the day. This is important news for students looking to apply for a UNISA qualification in 2020.

Due to the digital age, many banks have redefined their strategies as to what banking means in this day and age. Unfortunately, with that comes the idea and fear of certain jobs within the banking industry becoming obsolete. Because of the evolving banking structure due to digitization, this has led towards multiple retrenchments at some of South Africa’s major banks.

As a result of the pending strike, multiple banking branches of different banks across the country will be affected. Cash machines (ATMs & swiping machines) and banking services in-branch may be affected too. Bank customers will still though be able to access their online and cellphone banking services.

Each of the major banks has responded in regards to the impending strike and have preliminary plans in place, in case SASBO follows through with the planned strike.

As of late, the striking action will likely take place at five (5) locations throughout the country:

  • Johannesburg (starting from Cosatu House and ending at Bank City);
  • Durban (towards City Hall);
  • Cape Town;
  • Port Elizabeth; and
  • Bloemfontein.

More information on the impending banking strike can be found on SASBO’s website here.

Tips on How to Remain Unaffected by the Bank Strike

BE PREPARED! With many people most likely not going to have any access to their accounts on the day of the planned strike, here are a number of tips to get yourself through the day:

  • Withdraw money on Wednesday or Thursday to get yourself through the day to pay for your expenses (food, fuel, etc). Many ATMs and swipe machines may not work on the day of the strike;
  • Applying and registering for your bank’s online banking feature;
  • SAPS-related payments would have to go through by end of working day Wednesday. Transactions regarding tax payments and tax refunds may be affected;

“This doesn’t affect me applying to UNISA, does it?”

The banks taking part in the strike action are making provisions in case the planned strike goes ahead. Ross Linstrom, Standard Bank spokesperson, has informed the media that the bank’s customers will be kept informed on any changes or disruptions to their banking activity.

As you may know, the UNISA application window closes this coming Friday, 27th September. As a result of the impending strike action, students applying on Friday will most likely not be able to complete their applications.

This is not to say that all Standard Bank’s banking functions will be disabled. Students will still be able to pay their application fees via EFT instead of a direct deposit/ATM deposit.

UNISA applicants are urged to apply and pay their application fee as soon as possible as to not be affected by the strike.

*Update (26/09/2019): The Labour Court has ruled in favor of Business Unity SA (BUSA), the entitiy who applied for an interdict against the banking strike which was due to take place on Friday 27 September. The Labour Court claimed that the banking strike was deemed unlawful. The banking strike would have been the largest to have taken place in South Africa since 1920.

Also Read: UNISA Applications 2020

Last Updated: 26 September 2019

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