AfriForum: Post Office owes consumers R180m

Post box. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Post box. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Civil rights organisation AfriForum is demanding that the South African Post Office (Sapo) pay back mailbox users for a lack of service during a three month strike last year.

AfriForum released a statement on Saturday alleging that Sapo owes consumers R180m.

Postal services in SA came to a halt last year as around 7 900 Sapo casual workers across the country demanded an 8% wage hike and permanent employment.

The strike ended in November last year when two unions agreed to a settlement with Sapo.

AfriForum, though, says mailbox users paid for 12 months’ service in 2014 but only received delivery for nine months.

“AfriForum placed the Post Office on terms to reimburse all mailbox users for the period in which services were not delivered,” said Tiaan Esterhuizen, Manager of Community Structures for AfriForum, in a statement.

“If mailbox users are not reimbursed, AfriForum will consider legal action. This is yet another example of the government failing to adhere to their responsibilities and the economy is suffering because of it,” Esterhuizen said.

AfriForum also said the Consumers Protection Act states consumers are entitled to the “timely execution and completion of services” and “reasonable reimbursement if any services are not executed as agreed”.
 
Other complaints against Sapo

In December 2014 Fin24 reported that eight magazine publishers lodged a formal complaint against the South African Post Office (Sapo) with the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

The publishers alleged Sapo failed to meet its licence conditions to reliably distribute post for “years”.

Icasa by law has to monitor Sapo’s licence obligations.

“This formal complaint lodged by the publishers with Icasa is a precursor to a possible class action," the publishers said in a statement in December 2014.

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