VBS MUTUAL Bank’s looting has left thousands jobless.
Today, the curator of the controversial bank Anoosh Rooplal, announced plans to reduce all non-critical costs in an attempt to align cash inflows.
Simply put: retrenchments and closing of other branches.
The VBS head office has also been streamlined and staff have been moved into one office block to make more space available for potential new tenants.
Unused and redundant assets will be sold and all proceeds will be to the benefit of the creditors of the Bank, including municipalities, trade creditors and the remaining retail depositors who currently have over R100 000 deposited in the mutual bank.
Labeled ‘The Great Bank Heist’ which details how R1.8 billion was brazenly stolen from the mutual bank, according to Advocate Terry Motau.
Rooplal also, as last resort, unfortunately had to reduce the salary costs of the mutual bank. The consultative process began on 13 July 2018 with a notice to all staff that the Bank needed to reduce the staff compliment.
According to the Labour Relations Act, a conciliation period of at least 60 days and with four conciliation meetings with the CCMA, the SASBO union and appointed representatives of the non-unionised members was followed.
“On 12 October, retrenched staff were informed of their retrenchment packages and received retrenchment packages of notice pay, severance pay and any leave pay due.
A process of appointment for the remaining 26 staff members was also conducted and staff were invited to apply for advertised positions. Letters of appointment were also made to 26 staff members on 12 October 2018, with letters of regret being extended to all unsuccessful candidates.
All 26 positions have been filled with VBS staff members. The 26 staff are involved in collections, operations, and administration aspects of the Bank.
The appointments include two general managers,” says Rooplal.
On 16 October, further correspondence was issued to the 94 retrenched staff with additional details included as to which sections of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act were followed for each of the payment packages and individual details to how that applied to each staff member. There were also 83 eligible staff members who were informed of their entitlement to a 13th cheque.
He also concluded a Section 189A process as per the Labour Relations Act, 2001 with VBS staff.
Rooplal concluded, “We have made available emotional and financial counselling for the family members of the retrenched staff.
In addition, we are providing all the necessary administrative assistance to all retrenched staff in order for them to claim unemployment benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and for them to obtain their tax directives from SARS”.
Various political organizations, political leaders, middle-men and executives of the bank have been named and shamed in the report by Adv Motau.
Meanwhile, the DA has received confirmation that parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests will be launching a probe into EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu over payments he allegedly received via his brother.
This was in response to a DA complaint to the committee about Shivambu allegedly getting R10-million from his brother Brian Shivambu‚ who was allegedly paid R16-million via the bank.
The DA said in a statement on Wednesday that it welcomed the swiftness with which the ethics committee responded to their complaint and hoped that “the same expeditiousness will be applied to the investigation”.
“We call on the ethics committee to conduct a hearing and for it to be open to the public‚ given the public interest in the matter and as per the code of conduct‚” said DA MP Phumzile van Damme.
“We look forward to the investigation – and if any wrongdoing is found‚ [to] the harshest sanction [being] meted out against Shivambu on behalf of the thousands of poor people whose money was stolen in the VBS heist.”
The party urged the committee to summon the relevant witnesses to give evidence under oath or affirmation.