‘Don’t make mass withdrawals’ - Reserve Bank urges people

The Reserve Bank is concerned about fake claims that it is recalling money from the public.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Banking Association of South Africa and the Reserve Bank are discouraging the public from making mass withdrawals.

This follows scenes of panic buying across the country after the president declared a national state of disaster.

As the Banking Association of South Africa announced several efforts to protect workers and consumers amid COVID-19, the Reserve Bank is concerned about fake claims that it is recalling money from the public.

The association’s managing director Cas Coovadia on Tuesday said the organisation would be meeting with the Reserve Bank to discuss various contingency measures among other interventions.

“We are discussing contingency issues at an operational level…”

Coovadia said individual banks were also responding to the crisis and putting mechanisms to limit the spread of the virus such as allowing employees to work from home.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank has clarified that it has not withdrawn banknotes and coins, urging members of the public who are approached by the criminals who say they must hand in their cash, to contact local police.

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance has called on banks and financial institutions to give customers like businesses a four-month grace period on loan repayments.

The official opposition came up with several suggestions to limit the impact of the coronavirus.

DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis said the coronavirus will have a lasting impact on the country's economy and giving support to small businesses will go a long way in minimising its impact.

“We are proposing a loan for bearings programme, which would be for the economic survival of businesses and families. Allowing borrowers to pause repayments for four months.”

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.