Namibia: Local Banks Reassure On Looming South Africa Strike

26 September 2019

Local banks have assured Namibians that the impending strike at banks in South Africa slated for tomorrow will not impact operations in Namibia.

The banks, in different statements, notices and messages to their clients, stressed that their services in Namibia will not be affected should the South African Labour Court give the go-ahead to more than 30 000 bank workers to go on strike.

Several messages circulated on social media yesterday, urging Namibians to ensure they have enough cash on hand and to pay crucial bills before Friday in light of the intended industrial action in the neighbouring country.

The messages claimed the strike in South Africa, if it does happen, could shut down the Namibian banking system.

Three South African-linked commercial banks operating in Namibia, however, released statements that their operations will not be affected should the labour court not consider the Business Unity South Africa (Busa) interdict to stop the strike.

By the time of going to print yesterday, the labour court was yet to rule on Busa's application.

In an interview with The Namibian yesterday, Nedbank Namibia's executive for retail and business banking Richard Meeks, reassured clients that it will not be affected if the strike takes splace.

"The strike in South Africa will have zero to minimal impact on our clients' ability to transact", he stated.

Meeks said the Namibian core banking system operates independently of the Nedbank Group systems in South Africa.

Isack Hamata, spokesperson of Standard Bank Namibia, said if the strike goes through, their operations here will not be affected.

First National Bank of Namibia indicated that the planned strike in SA is industry-wide and not bank-specific, and has little or no bearing on local banking activities in Namibia.

"Local bank customers are assured that local operations of all banks should proceed as well as on any other day," the bank said in a press release.

Bank Windhoek likewise comforted its clients that the impending strike by the bank employees in South Africa has no impact on the operations of the bank.

Managing director Baronice Hans said: "Bank Windhoek is a wholly owned and operated Namibian financial institution with no system links to South Africa that will affect its operations locally".

She added that all their branches, ATMs and digital services such as iBank, cellphone banking and Mobile App will function normally tomorrow, 27 September, as they would on any other business day.

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