The African National Congress in Limpopo has called on the provincial government to establish a pro-poor bank because poor people struggle to secure finance at major banks.
“We think we must establish a provincial bank, it has been a long-standing issue at national, and it was affirmed by the national lekgotla that we need a state bank to make sure that our poor communities are covered,” said party provincial secretary Knocks Seabi.
Seabi said the big four banks’ conditions to secure loans favour the urban rich.
“If we have a provincial bank it will be easy for our people to access financial assistance, it is difficult to go to the four main banks: Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank,” he said.
This comes weeks after Co-operative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen called for the establishment of a local bank.
Seabi said major banks marginalise poor communities even further.
Members of the ANC Youth League have recently launched a campaign against Absa demanding that the bank pay back money it was given as a bailout by the apartheid government two decades ago.
VBS Mutual Bank, whose operations made news headlines after it offered President Jacob Zuma a loan to pay his Nkandla bill, is Limpopo’s only provincial bank.
Asked if the decision was influenced by Van Rooyen’s call made during a recent provincial water summit, Seabi vehemently denied and argued that the matter was discussed at an ANC meeting.
“The minister did not lobby us. Maybe because we belong to same ANC we are of the same mind.”
However, Seabi failed to outline how the bank will be established, funded and operated differently from other banks.
He said a study would be conducted to determine this.