Assuming the suits in Sandton aren’t members of banking union Sasbo, the finance-sector protest would certainly have included few pinstriped suits, fast cars or shiny brogues. That the polite lady who asks you all the questions when you’re applying for a loan might be replaced by an automated virtual assistant — such as Naledi, developed by four University of Cape Town students — may drive the point home a bit further.

With that change comes the potential displacement of many from their livelihoods, and sadly it seems industry stakeholders were not ready for the banks to go “branchless”, judging from the many irate radio talk-show callers on #MetroFMTalk who addressed the matter. Many were members of Sasbo, who used the opportunity to tell the union’s general secretary, Joe Kokela, about their experiences of uncompliant section 189 consultation processes in their workplaces.

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