Call to bail out the Post Office

The SA Post Office was put under administration in November last year after a protracted four-month illegal strike. Picture: Emile Hendricks/Foto24
The SA Post Office was put under administration in November last year after a protracted four-month illegal strike. Picture: Emile Hendricks/Foto24

Johannesburg - The Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Thursday called on government to bail out the South African Post Office (Sapo).

Sapo has experienced financial difficulties and has been under administration since November last year.

Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele revealed in July this year that Sapo owed almost R245m to more than 2 000 suppliers, and that it was in arrears for over six months.

Furthermore, the 'SA Post Office Strategic Corporate Plan' in May highlighted that Sapo had a short-term overdraft of R270m while further borrowings of R1.2bn were guaranteed by government.

And in November last year Sapo reported that it needed a R2.4bn bailout.

Severe strikes and board member resignations in 2014 also resulted in post piling up across the country - the CWU was part of union movement that launched the strikes.

And amid the post office’s continuing problems, CWU on Thursday called for a bailout for the beleaguered state-owned company.

“Communication Workers Union is flabbergasted by the snail’s pace at which government is dealing with the financial situation in the South African Post Office which has lost major clients and is unable to meet most of its financial obligations and this resulting in the closure of many Post Office outlets,” said the union.

“We are therefore calling for government to bailout the South African Post Office just like they did with the South African Airways as this will assist government to meet its commitments in so far as dealing with the triple challenges are concerned,” said the CWU.

CWU further called on South Africa’s government to stop using courier businesses and that the University of South Africa (Unisa) should bring back its business to Sapo.

Finally, the union also called on President Jacob Zuma to release the Special Investigating Unit report on allegations of corruption at Sapo.


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