The Communist War to undermine & destroy South Africa’s banks – Shades of Hugo Chavez & Robert Mugabe…
(AC) I am getting highly irritated by a lot of complete nonsense floating around in the Mass Media about South Africa’s banking industry. For years I have been warning that the Communists are gunning for South Africa’s banks and that they will ruin the banking industry of this country, like they’ve ruined other things. But the impact of the ruination of the banks will affect all aspects of this country, and this country will not be able to function economically the way it used to, and when all is said and done, and all this is over, you will see that the vast mass of people will have become even poorer than they are now.
People out there are going nuts about South Africa’s banks and the banking charges. And guess what, I also pay banking charges, and like everything else, I examine my own behaviour and I try to cut my own costs. But there are discussions in this country that border on the insane.
I actually work for a bank, and during my lifetime, even when I worked for myself, a subset of my work was to do with banking systems. I won’t say I’ve seen every aspect of banking, but I have had exposure to far more aspects of banking than most of you could guess. I know a lot of the low down detail of how systems work, how bankers think, and what they plan and discuss and also the problems they face. So I’m going to tell you a few things.
Firstly, for years now I have warned about the war on banking. I mentioned that the National Credit Act (NCA) is an evil thing and that in the long run it would do great damage. And, nobody writes about it, but the damage is already there, and lots of things happen quietly that people don’t realise. Now that Jacob Zuma and the Far Left are running the show, things are happening again that are really scary.
Westerners have been successfully fooled by Jacob Zuma’s lies that everything will remain the same. One of the lies was that Trevor Manuel, the Minister of Finance would remain in Govt and would remain a powerful influence. This was a deception. Many people do not understand the functioning of the ANC. The theory that Trevor Manuel is the driving force behind economic policy is a red herring. The ANC is a collective, and it functions as one. Manuel’s moves were the moves of the ANC. If the ANC tells Trevor Manuel to go hard left tomorrow, Trevor Manuel will. Trevor Manuel is a loyal lap-dog member of the ANC. A while back the Minister of Health, a white woman, Barbara Hogan, dared to go against the ANC over the issue of the Dalai Lama. Shortly thereafter, Trevor Manuel was one of those who came and attacked her over it. Trevor Manuel is not going to preserve the Mbeki route. Trevor Manuel will do what Jacob Zuma tells him to do. But the Western world was fooled by the fact that Zuma retained Trevor Manuel, just as many whites were fooled when Zuma decided to offer Dr Mulder the position as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
Very recently, people were totally shocked when the a-political Governor of the Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, came out and attacked South Africa’s banks. He came out and really hit them from the left field, and the Banks could not understand it because their relationship with him was good. So why did Tito Mboweni suddenly act “out of character” like that? Well, again, despite deception to the contrary, Tito Mboweni is a loyal ANC cadre, and if the ANC or the SACP (South African Communist Party) tells him to attack someone, he will carry out those orders. This shocks people because for years they were used to Mbeki’s policies. But now the hard left is in, and now, you’re going to see them try their nonsense to shove us into fully blown communism. (Of course, Mbeki was taking us there slowly too; but the main thing is that the pace will now change).
The newspapers are filled with stories of high bank charges in South Africa, and rip-offs, etc, etc. This is similar to what we had in the past, prior to an attack on an industry. Do you remember when they said they would save us money on medicines, and then they drove most of the privately-owned pharmacies into bankruptcy? Those who survived, did so because they joined larger organisations who could help with scales of economies thereby allowing them to survive. The net result is that now most of South Africa’s pharmacies, instead of being privately owned, are under the control of an oligopoly. Most of South Africa’s pharmacies now are owned by Dischem and by Clicks.
Do you remember when they moaned about the high bread prices? Then they went and fired Tiger foods a vast sum of money (as if that would help anyone). I can’t remember if they fined them R50 million or some ridiculous figure.
Let me remind you, that you are watching communism in action. This is an old communist game. It is an attack on FREE ENTERPRISE and the FREE MARKET. The communists come along with their propaganda about how capitalism is “ripping you off”. Then suddenly everyone screams about it. And even sane people, even highly educated friends of mine, even economists are falling for this TOTAL BUNK. Even sane economists stand around agreeing that yes, banks should be kicked in line because of this hideous state of affairs.
Just a short while back I was watching a BBC documentary called: “Don’t tell your mother, but I’m in Venezuela”. The presenter went to Venezuela where he saw people all dressed in red and everyone was a revolutionary and everyone hated America. Then they saw the “economic benefits” of Hugo Chavez’s communism. Oh, said the pro-reds, Chavez is doing so much to help the people. Well, that’s what Communists are always claiming! As I mentioned in my book, Government by Deception (2001), Communists are always telling you how much they love the poor and how much they want to help the poor, but nobody makes the poor poorer than the communists. When the communists are finished with the poor, they will be far poorer than they ever could have believed. And that is what always happens. But it is done in a way that it sounds attractive.
The presenter went into a supermarket. Hugo Chavez had said that businesses are ripping the Venezuelan people off. So Chavez, in a Mugabe-like move, went and forced businesses to sell their goods to supermarkets at much lower prices. (Robert Mugabe did that too, and Mugabe actually forced stacks of businesses to either stop producing or to go into bankruptcy as a result). Well, in Venezuela, the businesses then decided that they can’t sell themselves into bankruptcy by selling to the supermarkets at below cost price, so guess what they did? They EXPORTED all their products! So when you go into a supermarket in Venezuela, you can’t get products that are manufactured in Venezuela! Instead, the supermarkets now import all their good from elsewhere in the world!! Then there are of course shortages as a result. They can’t buy milk. They haven’t seen milk in months. They only get powdered milk, and they don’t have real sugar either, because they actually buy some other chemical which masquerades as sugar. And as with all communist meddling you not only don’t get items, but when you do get some items, there are queues hundreds of metres long for the few items you do get. So if some meat comes in, it is soon sold out, and thousands who wanted to buy it won’t get it.
Robert Mugabe made a big issue out of prices and businesses “ripping off” the populace. And where did it lead? To a destroyed economy. In fact, it led to an economy where the rich can buy anything they want and where the poor CANNOT buy that which they used to buy. Ditto for Hugo Chavez, the modern Communist Robin Hood.
So here we are with a Far Left ANC, supported by the SACP, and suddenly, we have all sorts of propaganda angling for the banks. I’m going to repeat, as I said years before, the communist trash of this country are gunning for the banks and when they are finished with the banks you will see the ruination of it.
Let me tell you things about the banks that you won’t know and won’t see in the press. People are complaining that the banks are inefficient, and they are right. Everything in this country is becoming more inefficient. What nobody is pointing out is how the Govt’s Affirmative Action rules, and their racial quotas in the workplace are the direct cause of this inefficiency. What you don’t know is this: If it were not for our advanced computer systems, most of these businesses would not be able to function at all. Some years ago, we had a certain system which captured homeloans. I had systems which had data fed to them by this system. Then we noticed errors creeping in. More and more errors were occuring. The system feeding ours was crashing more and more. It actually became quite a catastrophe. Eventually, my investigations and discussions with managers, supervisors, etc led me to realise that it was the low quality staff (the AA staff), who were badly underskilled, who were the problem. They had quietly whittled out the competant staff and replaced them with the incompetants, and the net result was that these people couldn’t do the work. Eventually, the company was paying a handful of experienced white staff, overtime and all these people did, from morning to night was fix errors by the new staff. And when I tell you they worked from morning to night I mean that. I knew of two women who would work almost daily, from 6-7am in the morning until 9pm or later at night. All they did was fix errors by other staff. The senior management gave them carte blanche to do anything they needed in order to try to keep the business flowing because the entire dept was dying because there were so many errors in the capturing of homeloans data.
I see systems running which are used by hundreds, and sometimes thousands of staff, and I am telling you, if it were not for some of our computer systems, and the few hundred people who keep them running, the banks of this country would not be functioning at all. We are constantly using every trick in the book to try and make it easier for the staff to use. All sorts of tricks, which I will not describe are used to improve through-put and to try to keep things running. I have seen certain things, which I prefer not to discuss, as to how they manage to keep the banks from totally collapsing. If it were not for some savvy people, with really clever ideas, banks would have folded by now.
I was chatting to a co-worker of mine last week. He was telling me that the car finance portion of the bank is probably now the biggest “Second hand car dealer in Africa”. He was saying that because of the repossessions. He told me that two-thirds of all homeloans are in arrears by one or more months.
While everyone is moaning about bank charges, they have no conception, of the vast amounts of debt and the battles that are fought daily to get cash. I am on the front line of the new systems that are being built and will be built to collect in monies. Large sums of money are being poured into trying to collect monies from delinquent borrowers. High technology, and statisticians and all sorts of mathematical models are being thrown into the mix to try and keep cash flowing in so that we don’t go under. I know how much money is being collected, but I don’t think it is prudent to disclose the internal figures of the company I work for, but I can tell you, a lot is being thrown into this. The economy is bad. Just a week ago, I heard that despite all measures, there was extreme concern about the state of debts owing, and new measures were being sought to fight the way forward.
Banks are losing lots of money in this economic meltdown. And the NCA has not made life any easier. It has made things more expensive. Banks cannot attach and get back the goods from delinquent owners because the costs are so prohibitive. And they prefer not to go after them legally, because of the costs. Instead they try now to just get a deal, any deal, out of those who owe them money. They try to get smaller, regular payments, rather than take legal action because of the costs and hassles involved.
Remember too, in this crime capital of the world with criminals blowing up ATMs, and cash-in-transit heists, etc that banks take a beating in costs all the time.
And, don’t forget, that all the ANC Affirmative Action legislation is largely responsible for lots of inefficiences. Don’t forget that all this new legislation causes system changes, causes them to hire more people just to push paper. All these costs add up. It is making banking more inefficient and is adding to the price tags. Despite many seriously creative attempts at dealing with these problems, the banks will battle. There is only so much you can do.
So I think the first thing to keep in mind is this: This is South Africa, and we are Third World, you cannot expect our bank charges to be the same as those in America or Europe where you have a sound, efficient infrastructure and where you do not have the many hurdles we have.
Even so, the banks have reduced their costs when everyone screams about it, but I’m going to tell you where this will lead to. I have worked my entire life in private business, and when you come and you mess with the price structure of the things which keeps a company afloat, that company will come up with work-arounds.
Take the NCA and the current lending situation. I would say that currently, the company I work for, issues only about 10% of the homeloans that it was issuing just a few years back. In other words, the homeloans business has dropped by 90%. And car finance, and credit cards are all having serious problems. There are vast numbers of people behind or delinquent in their credit card payments.
Already we can see the new pattern: The new pattern is that now MOST PEOPLE who just a few years ago could get a homeloan now cannot. You will see how the banks will be forced to make you jump through more and more hoops before they lend you money. Vast numbers of people who previously could get finance, including businesses, will NOT get finance ever again. This will affect not only people, but companies, the very entities which create jobs. You will see that banking will change, and a lot of products and features which used to be available to everyone will now only be available to a smaller, select market.
If the Govt had left the banks alone, the banks would have been able to do things. Look at when some of the banks tried to run a lottery system similar to the “Bop Bond” in the days of Apartheid. This was in direct response to the rotten way our state lottery is run. The banks made a success of it, but then the Govt stepped in and killed it. This is communism, this is interference in business. I know this country never was 100% free market, but the businesses of this country did have a lot of autonomy. And now that is being taken away. The net result of this, is less jobs. If the banks get knocked here and kicked there, they will merely cut their costs. They will not enter into deals and business which will rebound on them. Instead, they will cut their projects. If they reduce bank charges here, then they will load the costs elsewhere on another product. They’ll introduce a new “admin fee” when you apply for some new product. One way or the other, they will cut their losses and try to make their profits elsewhere. Its that simple. And its not evil, it is just the way that all businesses run. This Govt interference, and this insane talk of “ripping the public off” is completely one-sided and totally ignores a lot of other facts.
A friend of mine complained to me that banks are inefficient and don’t even admit when they’re wrong. I said to him that he has no idea the state of the staff, and the way things work in daily life. The banks are merely doing the best they can and the management are doing the best they can, within the boundaries laid down by the Govt of this country. Those laws tell them who they can hire, and what they are and are not allowed to do. They have to reduce the numbers of certain staff because it affects their racial quotas. They lose people with skills and must replace them with people with low skills. All this is a struggle.
Let me tell you this: The fools can go ahead and can force the banks to cut their charges in the same way that Hugo Chavez and Mugabe force businesses and factories to sell goods at below cost price. All the banks will do is move the charges elsewhere, or charge for things they did not charge for before, or they reduce the facilities and products they make available. The bottom line is that whenever you mess with some functioning business’s pricing model, there will be something that has to give way.
For some years I have been quite convinced that our banking industry is going to be seriously damaged when the Govt meddles with it. And this type of meddling, which is just a slanderous, propaganda attack on businesses, whereby they are treated as criminals, is not healthy at all for this country.
Don’t be fooled by the propaganda that is pervading the media. The Govt is going to seriously damage and undermine the banks, and rest assured, this country used to have so much of its economy directly dependent on most businesses getting finance from banks. If the Govt meddles with the banks, they are meddling with the economy and rest assured it will increase the hardships of the poor and retard any job growth we might have had. I have no illusions about this silly talk. I have worked in business all my life and as a consultant, I have seen many and varied businesses. These idiots are destroying the eoconomy of this country and are going to push everybody (except for the very rich), into greater hardship, and the black masses will be even poorer than ever before.
Author of: Government by Deception