SASBO, South Africa's largest financial union, has called for a two-day nationwide strike from Friday, September 27, to Saturday, September 28, to denounce planned job cuts in the sector. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has called on its members to join the strike. Related demonstrations, marches, and picketing actions are scheduled to take place in major urban centers across the country, notably in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Free State, Cape Town, Port Elisabeth, and Durban, making it the biggest industrial action in the country in recent history. COSATU also warned that the September 27 strike will be a warm-up ahead of a planned general strike scheduled to take place on Monday, October 7, over economic reforms proposed by the government on August 27.
Widespread disruptions to banking services are to be anticipated, including over-the-counter and ATM transactions. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are likely around possible related protests.
Low economic growth and stiff competition from branchless digital banks are forcing traditional banking institutions to restructure, putting more than 10,000 jobs at risk. Unions have called on banks to support programs to retrain employees and assist with job placement.
Individuals in South Africa are advised to anticipate potential disruptions in cash supply, arrange any urgent banking transactions ahead of the planned strikes, and avoid all related demonstrations as a precaution.
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