South African interior minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks during a press conference as head of the African Union (AU) Commission. (Simon Maina, AFP)
She was speaking at the opening of a church in Thokoza, East of Johannesburg.
“Women and young people want to venture out into business but often find one of their greatest challenges is that there is no financial assistance,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
She attended the event, where she participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony flanked by leaders in the ANC Women’s League, including its president Bathabile Dlamini and secretary general Meogo Matuba.
Some of South Africa’s banks have been implicated in an international collusion scandal, where agents are accused of alleged price fixing and cheating fictitious bids on both local and international markets.
Since the collusion scandal was made public by the Competition Commission there have been growing calls for a state bank, with the Women’s League and the ANC Youth League supporting the idea.
Some have even called for an inquiry into South Africa’s banks, in some instances accusing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan of protecting their interests.
“Banks need to be open, in South Africa there should actually be many banks,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
She added that not only a few should be making so much money on their own.
She told those in attendance that in South Africa more black people had to own banks as they were in the majority, just like in other countries on the continent.