Johannesurg - Banks and "other capitalist monopolies" are corrupting South Africa and threatening to turn the nation into a banana republic, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Saturday.
Vavi said that while Cosatu opposed public corruption, its source was from banks and capitalistic monopolies "who manipulate markets, fix prices and do everything to maximise their profits through the exploitation of workers".
"It is their corrupt morality that is invading the public sector and our revolutionary movement, and threatening to plunge us into a descent into a banana republic."
Vavi was speaking at the a meeting of financial workers' union Sasbo in Benoni.
He argued that the banking industry could create more jobs if it pursued progressive politics but was instead retrenching employees and cutting wages.
While the country was struggling with unemployment and inequality, banking CEO's received large salaries.
"What makes this even worse is that these big banks, several of them now foreign-owned, are not competing with each other but are an effective monopoly, using their vast power to enrich themselves and their biggest customers, the equally monopolised multinational mining companies."
Vavi said banks and mines were the biggest obstacles to implementing policies to help manufacturing and create jobs.
He said they had prolonged South Africa's "over-dependence" on the export of raw materials to the economy.