In one of the most devastating strikes ever in South Africa, Bank workers have shut down banking systems across most banks in South Africa.

The Strike started on Friday and has been organized to protest retrenchments caused by Bank Branch closures.

Union Sasbo said its members will shut down systems in the banking industry, which will affect ATMs – along with all card transactions. 

“Make sure you have enough money (cash) on Thursday,” Sasbo general secretary Joe Kokela said. “No one will be able to transact, unfortunately.”

Many employees also will not get their salaries and transfers will not go through.

All big four banks have retrenched thousands of employees with Standard Bank having retrenched over 2000 employees and closed over 100 branches in the past 6 months.

The union SASBO is leading the strike, which will involve up to 50 000 employees, who have confirmed participation.

Sasbo says it represents about 70% of workers in the banking sector, about 73 000 people

The ANC government of Cyril Ramaphosa has declared retrenchments a national disaster.