Post Office doesn't have enough money to pay medical aid - again

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  • The South African Post Office failed again to pay over employees' medical aid contributions to its medical aid provider, Medipos.
  • SAPO spokesperson Johan Kruger said this was due to cash flow problems, and that the Post Office was implementing plans to improve its finances.
  • DA MP Diane Kohler-Barnard said she would report SAPO to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration. 
  • For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.

For the second time in the past two months, the South African Post Office (SAPO) failed to pay over staff medical aid contributions to its medical aid provider, Medipos, as the entity's financial crisis continues to deepen.

The DA has since said it would report the entity to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) over its continued failure to fulfil its obligation to pay over the medical aid contributions.

In October, trade union Solidarity had to take SAPO to the Labour Court in order to compel it to pay R4.5 million in contributions. A month later, SAPO again failed to keep up with the contributions of its thousands of employees. 

READ | Post Office vows to consult as 40% of jobs at stake in retrenchments plans

DA MP Diane Kohler-Barnard said in a statement that she would report SAPO management to the CCMA over the crisis. 

"The amounts are taken from their monthly salaries, but simply kept by the management. One would remember that the SAPO had earlier this year failed to pay over R700 million in Medipos contributions," said Kohler-Barnard.

Kohler-Barnard dismissed any suggestion that the medical aid crisis was due to the entity's financial position, referring to the debacle as "absolute fraud".

READ | Post Office ordered to pay R4.5m in employees' outstanding medical aid contributions

SAPO spokesperson Johan Kruger told News24 that the entity had struggled yet again to pay medical aid contributions for November because of its financial troubles, but that it was playing open cards with staff and working towards a solution. 

"The Post Office was unable to pay medical aid contributions this month owing to cash flow issues. Employees were informed immediately and the Post Office is implementing long-term plans to improve its finances," said Kruger.

SAPO is also grappling with plans to retrench staff to ease its financial burden, but these are in the early stages. It is also scrambling to keep IT systems for the provision of social grants going as a contract that it has with Telkom for this purpose is expiring soon. 

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