07 February 2024
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) fully supports the decision by the Competition Commission to appeal the bewildering court judgement dismissing the Commission’s alarming findings that domestic and foreign banks actively manipulated the value of the Rand.
The Federation was deeply angered by the shocking findings by the Competition Commission that 27 domestic and foreign banks actively manipulated the value of the Rand between 2007 and 2018.
The Commission found this may have cost the economy, workers, the state and businesses a massive R1 billion. This meant loans by South African companies and government in foreign currency were charged at much higher rates. Money for investing in growing the economy, paying workers, creating jobs, investing in critical infrastructure and rebuilding public services was lost to this shameful currency manipulation profiteering.
This is not the first-time banks have been found wanting in this regard. Those persons involved in these criminal activities in the banks must be charged, prosecuted and held accountable. A slap on the wrist of R42.7 million for one bank and R69.5 million for another bank is unacceptable compared to the losses and damage done. We are pleased that two banks admitted their guilt. Others must follow suit and all must be held accountable.
The South African Reserve Bank needs to explain how these activities took place under their watch and what they did to hold the banks accountable and what are they doing to prevent a recurrence. Treasury and the Financial Intelligence Centre too must explain what they did to prevent such crimes, to hold those accused accountable and to prevent recurrences.
If government does not act, then we should not be surprised when South Africa continues to be grey listed by the international community. If we sweep this under the carpet, then we should not be shocked when it happens again.
COSATU will be engaging on this matter with government to ensure action happens and the guilty are held accountable.
Issued by COSATU
For further information please contact:
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687