The art of savvy banking: Mastering bank charges in South Africa

Have you had a thorough look at your bank statement and wondered why you've been charged so much?

The art of savvy banking: Mastering bank charges in South Africa

Here are five main reasons why your bank charges are always more than they should be — and your bank is probably not to blame.

Exorbitant bank charges explained and how to avoid them

1. Regular Cash withdrawals at the ATM

Most, if not all, banks encourage limited or emergency ATM withdrawals. This is because cash can be withdrawn at till points at prominent supermarkets via cash-back for free, or at less than R2.

2. Bouncing or dishonoured debit orders

It is important to make sure that service provider debits take place on the right date in the month so that you are sure you have funds in your account. Some banks charge R25 for a failed debit order attempt; some charge as much as R250.

3. ATM withdrawals at rival bank ATMs

Although sometimes it is a matter of life and death, the charges can be very high for using a bank other than your own to draw money. Perhaps try and avoid doing this.

4. Over-utilising Cash Send, Send Imali, Ewallet

Yes, as convenient as it is sending these to five people in any given month, plus to yourself on the fateful day, it can accumulate an extra R100 per month added onto your bank charges. Rather use EFT and put money into their bank account that way.

5. Immediate payments

Well, this one is one of the best inventions to the banking industry, but convenience has a heavy price as well. Some banks charge per R100, some start at R40 and some as low as R8. Either way, an immediate payment is an option but if it is not essential, rather avoid it.

In future, withdraw enough cash from the ATM once or twice a month, make sure debit orders go off successfully, avoid withdrawing at another bank’s ATM, limit card-less transactions as well as immediate interbank payments, and you should see an increase of funds in your bank account.

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Source : The South African More   

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Calls for Bheki Cele to allow neighbourhood watch patrols go unanswered

Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz asked Bheki Cele on 23 April to allow neighbourhood watch groups to patrol during the lockdown.

Calls for Bheki Cele to allow neighbourhood watch patrols go unanswered

The call for neighbourhood watch patrols to take place during lockdown are going unanswered by Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz has again requested that Cele responds to neighbourhood watches’ (NHW) request to assist in social distance management during level 4 of lockdown.

“On 23 April, Minister Fritz wrote to Minister Cele requesting that accredited NHW members be permitted to assist in social distance management and the enforcement of these restrictions. To date, Minister Cele has failed to respond to this request,” a statement read. 


Fritz explained that accredited neighbourhood watch groups can assist by promoting social distancing at supermarket (and other shop) queues, clinics, and at transport interchanges. He also said it can be used to patrol school grounds to prevent the influx of vandalism that has taken place in recent weeks. 

“The presence of NHWs, particularly in communities with low police visibility, will serve to prevent crime. During the lockdown, we have seen an increase in vandalism of schools and shop robberies, particularly in our most vulnerable communities,” he said

“I have heard the call of the many NHWs and Community Policing Forums (CPF’s) who have raised their hands and offered their support during this difficult period. It is unacceptable that Minister Cele has failed to respond to this request,” said Fritz. 


Cele banned the use of neighbourhood watch groups and CPF’s. According to Fritz, he discredited the groups saying they are nothing but informal structures with no line of accountability. 

“No. The neighbourhood watch cannot join the police. The question of patrolling can be done with the people who have a line of accountability. When our soldiers and officers do things wrong, we know where to go. But what would you do if this happens within a neighbourhood watch?”

Police Minister Bheki Cele

“This is not true of NHWs in the Western Cape. Since 2016, NHWs in the Western Cape have been able to obtain accreditation in terms of the Western Cape Community Safety Act (WCCSA),” said Fritz. 

“The Western Cape is the only province in South Africa which regulates its NHWs. To date, there are 322 accredited NHW structures in the province that have been screened, and receive training and resources in line with the WCCSA,” he added. 

Fritz said neighbourhood watch groups are credible and trustworthy partners. 

“Furthermore, in terms of the WCCSA, all accredited NHW Structures and their members are directly accountable to me in my capacity as the Minister of Community Safety,” he said. 

If permitted to patrol and assist the lockdown, the Department of Community Safety will ensure that measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus and to ensure that all members are protected whilst supporting the enforcement of the lockdown, including:

  • The provision of cloth masks and hand sanitisers during patrols;
  • Setting the number of those who are permitted to patrol and encouraging self-distancing between volunteers; and
  • Ensuring that those who show symptoms or who have been in contact with someone who tested positive are not permitted to participate in patrols. They should quarantine at home for 14 days.  
Source : The South African More   

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