- Post Office spokesperson Johann Kruger says the SA Post Office saw a dramatic reduction in revenue during the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Consequently, the medical aid benefits of up to 50 000 Post Office employees are in jeopardy as the Post Office owes MEDiPOS R602 million in unpaid medical aid member contributions
- Kruger says 9 175 employees are currently members of MEDiPOS.
The SA Post Office (SAPO) said it was speaking to medical aid insurer MEDiPOS and unions to get to the bottom of the debt it owes the insurer, which has stoked anxieties that Post Office staff could lose out on their medical aid benefits.
Sunday Times reported over the weekend that the medical aid benefits of up to 50 000 Post Office employees were in jeopardy as the Post Office owed MEDiPOS R602 million in unpaid member contributions.
This comes as the Post Office grapples with a number of financial challenges and hopes to improve on its operations. Government is also in the process of separating Postbank from SAPO and turning it into a fully fledged commercial bank.
In October last year, the Communication Workers' Union raised issue with medical aid benefit deductions being reflected on employees' payslips, while MEDiPOS informed the Post Office in a letter that R213.3 million in contributions was owing since April of that year.
Post Office spokesperson Johann Kruger said SAPO began to see a dramatic reduction in revenue during the Covid-19 lockdown and revenue levels have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
"This has placed SAPO in a difficult financial position and it has thus been able to service the contributions due to MEDiPOS only in part. SAPO was able to make a payment of R20 million at the beginning of September and members still have full coverage," said Kruger.
He said 9 175 SAPO employees were currently members of MEDiPOS and that submissions have been made for financial assistance.
Kruger said SAPO was engaging MEDiPOS on a way forward, and that contributions would be transferred to the insurer as soon as revenue levels recover adequately, or financial assistance is received.
"Furthermore, SAPO has developed a strategy to improve its operational and financial performance. The matter has also been discussed with organised labour. SAPO has been engaged in ongoing discussions with MEDiPOS," Kruger said.
Kruger did not indicate the exact amount that SAPO owed MEDiPOS. Communication Workers' Union spokesperson Aubrey Tshabalala said the union was in discussions with SAPO on the matter.
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