SASBO has threatened to disrupt the South African Banking by 40,000 to 50,000 union members by ‘downing-tools’. 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) which is embraced by the Unions but no retrenchments should be allowed. These two options are mutually exclusive based on historical events.
SASBO states “We will continue with the strike on Friday. South Africans need to know what is happening at the banks, how employees are being treated. We will make sure that ATMs don’t operate. We will make sure that internet banking service is not working.”
Banks worldwide are being pushed out of their comfort zones by smaller digital-only startups such a Thyme Bank, N26, Bank Zero, and numerous others. They have to adapt or die similar to the industrial revolution. The six largest banks in South Africa is still one of the largest employers with more than 150,000 employees in 2018.
Getting back to the statement by SASBO “We will make sure that internet banking service is not working.” can only be accomplished by sabotage of ATMs as well as the computer and network infrastructure. As a staff member, there is the risk of dismissal due to a criminal act and possible a charge laid. With statements like “Ensure you have enough money as ATMs will be down” it is part of the scaremongering to place more stress on the infrastructure.
Banks should ensure that the safety of staff is the priority and an action plan should be in place already. The monitoring of critical network paths to indicate possible tampering is critical and a ‘play-book’ done for incident management.
Citizens should be aware that a criminal element will take advantage of the planned strike such as this and should stay away from possible hotspots such as ATMs, banks and their branches due to possible violence. Unconfirmed reports from Springs shows the bomb-disposal unit disabling three explosive devices at ATMs.
The final takeaway from the event is that South Africa is a small part of a global economy and if we do not pull together to be part of the exponential growth of the 4IR, we will sit on the sidelines cheering on the players after we have paid the entrance fee at the gates.