Post Office woes continue
Employees only paid half their salaries
EMPLOYEES of the South African Post Office (Sapo) were paid half their salaries last Friday due to financial problems currently facing the state entity.
The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in the province, representing Sapo workers, has since indicated that it was believed that the aim was to frustrate workers.
CWU provincial chairman who also works in the Queenstown post office, Bonke Mfenqe, said employees had sit-ins on Friday and Saturday.
“We vow to take action as we believe the post office is using this strategy to frustrate workers so that some will be tired of this and resign. From Monday on we will be on a go-slow until there is a response. We will hold general meetings with our members across the province and advise them. Ironically, there are workers who have been threatened with the no work no pay principle,” Mfenqe said.
A decision on possible strike action would be taken pend- ing an outcome of general meetings.
COPE spokesman Denis Bloem said the party had been raising the issue of the post office situation, with government assuring citizens that the situation was improving.
“It can not be fair that people in government, the main cause of the collapse of this and other institutions in our country through ill advised cadre deployment, continue to enjoy life as normal while the lives of workers at Sapo are turned upside down. By commission and omission, the (President Jacob) Zuma administration has caused Sapo to stumble.”
Sapo had to take on partners from the private sector and 51% of the shares should have been sold at the beginning of the crisis. “Now its value will have tumbled considerably. Sapo is on its knees,” he said.
Media reports in April painted a bleak picture of the post office finances.
The SABC online reported the High Court in Pretoria rejected a bid by Sapo to have its bank accounts released, as part of a battle by a cellphone service provider to recover R50-million. Sapo bank accounts had been attached and remained so. The SABC quoted Bernard Hotz of Werksmans Attorneys saying the financial affairs of Sapo were in disarray was “putting it mildly”.
Sapo spokesman Khulani Qoma said to alleviate the effect of Sapo's negative position on employees, 70% of the salaries was paid.
“The balance of 30% of all individual salaries is due on the last day of October. This is despite the challenges posed by our negative financial position. We will continue to deploy various efforts aimed at improving the situation for the benefit of particularly our customers and employees.”
Various efforts were being made with the appointment of the “full-strength board” giving Sapo the impetus to change the situation.