Post Office sitting on mail ‘mountain’

2014-10-31 16:07

There is a “mountain” of undelivered mail at the South African Post Office, MPs heard today.

“We have a mountain of mail that is undelivered that is now quite substantial,” the post office’s public affairs general manager Andrew Nongogo told members of Parliament’s telecommunications and postal services portfolio committee.

Reducing this backlog would require staff to work overtime and on weekends, as well as bringing in staff from head office to help at various mail centres.

However, this could not happen if workers were absent and the labour situation at the post office – where operations over the past three months have been crippled by strikes – was not stable.

Earlier, committee chairperson Mmamoloko Kubayi said highly critical media reports and concerned enquiries from members of the public had prompted today’s meeting, to give MPs an update on the current state of affairs at the post office.

But after listening for more than an hour to senior post office officials and Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele sketch details of another turnaround plan for the cash-strapped entity, Kubayi lost her patience.

“You are appearing before us and you do not even have the decency to tell us you have not paid workers today.

“That’s a wrong, wrong start ... it removes the trust. You start wondering what else in this presentation is true or not ... you are evasive in your presentation,” she said.

A senior post office executive scrambled to explain that workers had been paid, but late, after cash flow problems had led to the entity’s bank requiring a guarantee from the national treasury before releasing the funds.

According to notes tabled at today’s briefing, there has been a steady decline in the post office’s financial fortunes over the past seven years, from a net after-tax profit of R377 million in 2007-2008, to a loss of R359 million in 2013-2014.

Nongogo listed other problems, including that the organisation required a R447 million injection to modernise its antiquated IT infrastructure.

On its finances, he said spending outstripped revenue. The briefing notes show that on September 30 this year, the post office’s expenses for the current financial year were R3.3 billion, and revenue R2.8 billion.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.