The call for a state-owned bank has been a constant refrain from the ANC and indeed from government in recent years. President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2020 State of the Nation address said the government was proceeding with the establishment of a state-owned bank as part of its effort to extend access to financial services for all South Africans.

Why the government feels the need for another institution when it already has several state-owned lending institutions is not clear. The state owns Land Bank and the Development Bank of SA and Postbank, which was unbundled from the Post Office in September and can now apply for a full banking licence...

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