Cape Town – The ANC-led government does not want to collapse South
Africa’s banking system, but rather reform it to provide access to previously
disadvantaged South Africans, said Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of
Telecommunications and Postal Services on Wednesday.
Speaking in a debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation
Address delivered on Thursday last week, Cwele said the ANC has repeatedly
called for the fundamental transformation of the financial sector.
“Our efforts are not to collapse the banking system but the focus
is on changing their monopolistic behaviour. There is a need to review the
Financial Sector Charter as it relates to access to finance for small and
informal businesses, financial inclusion, affordability and bank charges.”
To this end, the ANC has been calling for opening of space for a
variety of sector specific banks or second tier banks such as a construction
bank, stokvels bank, cooperative bank, and a variety of state banks in order
to improve access and affordability to support inclusive growth, Cwele said.
“It is under this backdrop I would like to respond to the urgent
need to corporatise the Postbank as directed by the developmental needs of the
underserviced and the unbanked. It is a state bank, which seeks to promote the
universal access to banking while at the same time providing a platform for the
disbursement of various state transactions such as social grants.”
Cwele said he was excited about the fact
that his Department got permission to establish a banking
company and the final hurdle is now to get a banking license.
The Postbank company registration is being finalised and six names
have been approved and are available to be appointed as board members of the
Postbank board after undergoing the “fit and proper assessment” by the South
African Reserve Bank (SARB), Cwele said.
The “final and difficult” hurdle his department is now facing is
the challenge around the “Postbank Controlling Company”.
“The challenge is around the interpretation of the Banking Act
which may need amendment. We are currently sharing legal opinions, which
suggest this may not be necessary.”
Cwele said government will work “flat-out” to meet the 3 July
deadline to submit the application requirements to the Reserve Bank.Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:
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