CAPE TOWN – African Bank announced on Tuesday it had commenced a consultation process with its recognised union, Sasbo, as prescribed in terms of section 189(3) read together with section 189A of the Labour Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995.
According to a statement, it is anticipated 1 269 employees of the current 3 728 total will be affected. The bank said it anticipated a job loss ratio of about 25 percent of the number affected. In the preceding 12 months, African Bank has not retrenched any employees for operational requirements.
Chief executive of African Bank, Basani Maluleke said they had been deliberate in reducing costs in all areas of the business. “The undertaking of a consultation process with our employees is the last resort to further reduce costs.
“Our intention throughout the process will be to consider appropriate measures to avoid and minimise potential job terminations. During these unsettling times, we will continue to deliver the exceptional service to which our customers have become accustomed.”
The Covid-19 outbreak and the associated protracted lockdown intensified the dire state of the economy. The bank said, given the financial pressure faced by their customers, it had recorded a reduction in sales as well as collections, which created excess capacity across the different business units.
“The bank has furthermore been gradually automating processes across our operations and has implemented the Omni-channel digital platform to reduce duplication and increase efficiency. Consequently, this has led to redundancies and has required the bank to evaluate its current resource capacity which may necessitate reducing duplication of functions.
“Over the years, the bank has continually implemented various initiatives to reduce costs and align its operating model to the cost base, in line with the economic reality, to ensure the sustainability of the business and remain competitive,” reads the statement.
African Bank said it had therefore become imperative to restructure the bank and hence enter into consultations, which may lead to the loss of jobs.
African Bank and Sasbo have currently agreed to a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitation process to consult on all pertinent issues.