The ANC Youth League has laid the blame for South Africa’s weak currency at the feet of Absa and its parent company, Barclays Bank.
The rand recently hit a record low against the dollar, tanking to R17.99 against the greenback over the second weekend in January.
While economists have pointed the finger at government, and president Jacob Zuma in particular, along with other external factors for the rand weakness, the ANC Youth league said banks are to blame.
The political group said that Barclays has been “excessively and aggressively” selling the local currency for the past few months.
“This has created a panic in international commodity trading platforms like forex. The excessive selling by Barclays has in turn reduced the demand for the South African rand,” the ANCYL said.
“The plan is to sell so much of the rand currency in order to drive down its price and then to later re-purchase it, which will push up its value as demand for it increases.”
“This is how that they profiteer and play with our country, through their actions.”
The league pointed out that in May 2015, Barclays was hit with a $2.4 Billion fine for rigging the foreign exchange market, and has, over time, paid a total of $638 million for misconduct related to Foreign Exchange at the New York Department of Financial Services.
Golman Sachs is also to blame, the league said.
The youth league accused the finance houses of ditching South Africa in favour of boosting the economies of their home countries.
The group called on “patriotic” South Africans to pull their money out of the financial groups, including controlled entities such as Absa.
This is the second time Absa has been specifically targeted by political groups in the country.
The bank was recently the target of Julius Malema and EFF, which threatened to shut the bank down for being part of a racist system, boosting white capital.