How Repair Work on one of Johannesburg’s Major Highways has Impacted South Africa’s Biggest Banks

Lenders are stepping up security after the closure of parts of the M2 freeway diverted traffic through the central business district — already flooded with pedestrians, buses, street vendors and minibus taxis. In a city that’s no stranger to crime, the snarl-ups made bank workers sitting ducks as thieves struck one car after the next, stealing whatever they can at gunpoint. To combat the thugs taking advantage of the gridlock, businesses are meeting weekly with city officials and metropolitan police who direct traffic and monitor crime hotspots. First National Bank provide shuttle services for staff, let employees work from home, come in during off-peak times or use satellite offices. The banks are among a handful of companies like AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. to have stayed in the central business district after the end of white minority rule 25 years ago. Other corporations moved north to plush buildings in suburbs like Sandton, known as Africa’s richest square mile, Illovo or Midrand.


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