The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) has come to an agreement with South Africa’s banks that Saswitch fee, which customers pay for using other banks’ ATMs, will be waived for a period of two months with effect from 1 August 2021, in response to the recent civil unrest where some ATMs in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were damaged and are not available for use.

Kabelo Makeke, head of consumer and high net worth clients at Standard Bank South Africa, comments: “We understand that some of our clients are adversely affected by the unavailability of the damaged ATMs and believe that the bank needs to provide a longer term relief than the agreed upon two months Saswitch fee waiver. That’s why Standard Bank had already permanently removed the Saswitch fee in January when we implemented our new pricing for this year.

“The removal of the Saswitch fee creates greater access to cash for our customers during this difficult period in South Africa,” Makeke adds. “This should prove to be extremely useful and convenient to our customers in Gauteng and KZN, who may have found themselves cut off from access to cash and other banking services. Our customers are urged to use any available ATM cash points to withdraw cash for a flat fee of R10 per R 1000 drawn.

“Standard Bank permanently scrapped the Saswitch fee at the beginning of this year following a temporary waiver during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown level 5, last year. We remind customers that this benefit is still available and urge our customers to use these industry facilities.”