• Absa has apologised for a Twitter poll on black tax, but said it would not delete the tweet.
  • The bank asked users to vote on what black tax is, with options like "a source of anxiety" and "a financial burden".
  • Nedbank and Capitec have attempted to capitalise on the controversy.

Absa has refused to delete a Twitter poll on black tax on Wednesday, as Nedbank and Capitec attempted to capitalise on the controversy.

The Twitter poll, posted on Tuesday morning, asked users to define "black tax", offering four options: “a source of anxiety”, “a source of pride”, “a financial burden” and “a responsibility.” 

Black tax refers to sharing an income with extended family members. 

The poll caused widespread outrage on social media, with users saying Absa tried to simplify black tax, offered too few options and conflicting options, and called on Absa to delete the tweet. 

@aNameToCarry commented that the poll wasn’t inherently offensive, but “it wasn't [Absa's] conversation to have.” 

But Absa said it would not delete the tweet and posted a link to a blog post on black tax.

“We don't want to try tuck this under the carpet, by deleting the post. We don’t ‘make this go away’,” Absa tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. 

“The pushback from our community was the correct response. We've learnt from this and will try harder. Our sincere apologies for the offence we have caused.”

As outrage over the poll spread, Absa clients began asking FNB, Nedbank and Capitec on social media how they can move their accounts.  

“yho yho yhooo, Nonses (sic), @Nedbank how easy and costly to switch ones account to your bank, including debits and savings accounts,” @LEB012GP replied to the Absa poll. 

Nedbank replied: "Hi Lebogang:), We would love to have you join the GreenTeam. Please DM us your ID and contact number and we will connect with you to assist further."

@Jaallya said: "Am moving to @Nedbank as well. @Absa voetsek." 

 @Moleane14 replied to the poll: "@CapitecBankSA I need to join you hey." Capitec replied with a link how to sign up. 

A tweet by @Sisi_Sasha, with over 800 retweets,  read ": I suppose [Absa’s tweet] is market research to explore opening up a ‘Black Tax Loan’ service to get Black people even more in debt than they already are.”