Johannesburg – The Black Business Chamber (BBC) has condemned the closure of the bank account of AYO Technologies Ltd by First National Bank (FNB) and the Absa accounts of Sekunjalo Group and said it saw it as an attack has gone.
AYO is the largest black ICT company in the country, employing over 1 600 people. The JSE-listed technology company has been dedicated to the transformation of the ICT sector as well as promoting ICT in the townships of South Africa.
According to a censor statement on Thursday, the bank has submitted an application against the FNB to the court on constitutional grounds after giving notice to the firm for shutting down its transactional banking facility from May 3.
The black-owned firm stated that despite its best efforts, FNB did not provide them with what they considered to be legitimate reasons for the termination.
In its application for immediate interim relief, the AYO raised the issue of the FNB taking a unilateral decision to close the company’s bank accounts in the absence of good reasons.
The AYO states that it is suspected that the FNB’s decision was a new form of banning black businesses from participating in the political and economy, particularly in the ICT sector.
On Friday, the BBC commended the AIO for its initiative of change in the ICT sector.
The Chamber stated that the AIO and Sekunjalo should stand firm, as they had the support of communities and all black people in South Africa.
“It is even more disturbing because FNB did not give any reason for the closure of its accounts.
“The banking sector in South Africa is an oligarchy controlled by a few white firms, and we know that Johann Rupert is a significant shareholder of Abs and he was one of the founders of FNB.
“We are concerned that Rupert has used his influence on these banks to close AYO accounts. “This is a gross violation of the rights of AYO and the rights of all black businesses in the country,” the BBC said in a statement.
The Chamber expressed concern that there has been some recent activity in the business community that mitigates change and sets it back for decades.
The chamber said that its purpose was to mobilize its members to protest against the Abs and the FNB.
“In the next week, we will announce a campaign and promote that campaign. We call on FNB to stop discrimination against black companies. We know that FNB maintains banking facilities for fraudulent companies, such as EOH, Steinhoff and others.
“Not only is FNB providing transaction banking for these companies, but they are also giving them crores of rand,” said Chambers.
The BBC said it also wants the Competition Commission to investigate collusion between ABSA and FNB.
“We also note that both ABSA and FNB are shareholders in other white-owned ICT companies, and this is a way to get a black company out of the market. The Chamber stated that apartheid against black people was a well-organized system and the FNB continues with its anti-apartheid policies.
The BBC said it would not allow Abs and FNB or any other bank to destroy a business.