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Saftu urges government investment to save South African Post Office

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By Ragheema Mclean

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has urged the government to invest in the South African Post Office (SAPO) to prevent looming retrenchments.

This comes as it has been confirmed that nearly 5,000 workers will be retrenched after the failure by Business Rescue Practitioners to secure the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) relief funding.

The federation and its affiliate, the Democratic Postal and Communication Workers Union (DEPACU), have also reiterated their call for TERS to provide temporary relief to employees.

However, Saftu said that this relief will only be a short-term fix and demands that the government allocate a significant portion of the postal services business budget to SAPO, suggesting at least 30%.

They argue that this would amount to an annual financial injection of R6 billion – R9 billion, along with necessary policy reforms and strategic guidance.

“To recover and provide services to the public, SAPO must also solve the failures of corporate governance, lack of digital transformation, and other factors that have contributed to its decline. This includes ensuring it is positioned to thrive in the age of the digital revolution by adapting to the changing nature of the mail industry,” said Saftu.

Speaking on VOC’s News Beat show, Saftu’s national spokesperson, Trevor Shaku, said that the historical mismanagement of the post office has now led to retrenchments.

He stressed, “Nothing is stopping the government from investing; they are saying there is a lack of funding, but we have rejected this argument, especially since the need is so great. This investment will be lucrative for the government.”

He highlighted that SAPO’s insolvency has led to liquidation, and it is being placed under business rescue, as creditors seek to recover their debts.

“We have sent out a letter to the business rescue practitioners and to the minister of communications and digital technology urging government intervention to prevent branch closures and widespread retrenchments.”

“We don’t see any way out but for the government to invest. If we are to look at solutions for the rescue of SAPO, the solutions are going to point to closing branches and retrenching many workers. We are strongly opposed to this,” added Shaku.

VOC News

Photo: @PostofficeSa/X

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