‘We will not allow our people to lose their jobs’ – minister on Gupta company

SA mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane says he has met with the banks that have closed their doors to Oakbay Investments, a holding company owned by the controversial Gupta family.

In April, Zwane, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were tasked with meeting the country’s four biggest banks after they cut ties with Oakbay Investments.

Standard Bank, FNB, Absa and Nedbank, as well as accounting firm KPMG and sponsor Sasfin Capital, ended their business relations with the Gupta-owned firm following claims of “state capture” from senior government officials.

Oakbay executives haad previously said that as many as 7,500 employees at the company would lose their jobs at the end of May if its bank accounts remain closed.

“This matter should be resolved. We are the government of the people. We will not allow our people to just lose their jobs,” Zwane told journalists, as reported by Reuters.

Business Day reported on Tuesday that Zwane and Oliphant met with Standard Bank several weeks ago and involved explanation from the bank on the regulatory requirements to report suspicious transactions.

A failure to do so could result in the institution being prevented from doing business in other jurisdictions, the bank said.

Absa reportedly turned down an invitation to meet Zwane.

Cabinet said in April that it was concerned that the decision by the banks to cut ties with Oakbay Investments would deter investors.

“Whilst Cabinet appreciates the terms and conditions of the banks, the acts may deter future potential investors who may want to do business in South Africa,” said Planning Minister, Jeff Radebe.

More on the Gupta family

Open Gupta accounts or we will lose our jobs: Oakbay staff

Ministers did meet with banks over Guptas, concedes Oliphant

More SA companies turn their backs on the Guptas

Guptas tell ANC’s top six of wider conspiracy: report

 

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‘We will not allow our people to lose their jobs’ – minister on Gupta company