Broke Post Office dishes out golden handshakes

2015-08-03 17:02
Siyabonga Cwele

Siyabonga Cwele

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Despite the fact that the South African Post Office’s financial affairs have deteriorated over the past few years, the parastatal has dished out quite a few golden handshakes. 

In answer to a question asked in Parliament by Democratic Alliance MP Archibold Figlan, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele made available the following list of people who received payouts after they left the Post Office earlier than contractually required: 

» Chief operating officer John Wentzel resigned and, after arbitration, received more than R548 000 on July 7 2011; 
» A group manager, Baldwin Neshunzhi, received about R532 500 in a settlement in November 30 2011; 
» Group chief executive Motshoanetsi Lefoka resigned and, after arbitration was paid R1.47 million on January 24 2012; 
» Group executive Maphutha Diaz received more than R370 000 on November 28 2013 in an arbitration settlement; 
» Group executive Marietjie Lancaster received just under R1.7 million for “voluntary retrenchment” on March 12 2013 ; and 
» Company secretary Bessie Bulunga received more than R400 000 on March 26 2014 after her dismissal. 

Cwele’s answer said: “It is not a practice of the Post Office to pay the remaining value of the contract in cases where executives leave the organisation before the expiry date of the employment contract. The executives in the table below were only paid the arbitration awards agreed to between the employees, their legal representatives and the company.” 

However, these amounts are only a drop in the bucket of the Post Office’s financial woes. 

According to the Post Office’s annual reports, in 2005, the organisation still made a profit of R943.7 million before tax. By the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year, it had ratcheted up a loss of R206.9 million. 

In the ensuing years, it had grown its loss to more than R358 million. 

The annual report that was submitted to Parliament in January this year – four months late – stated that the Post Office’s loss was expected to be R1.3 billion by March this year. 

It recently came to light that the Post Office owed more than 2000 suppliers at least R245 million.

Read more on:    siyabonga cwele  |  post office

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