South Africa

South African Post Office jobs bloodbath

Post Office

The South African Post Office’s Joint Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) announced that job cuts are back on the cards after a failed attempt to halt retrenchments.

Last month, the BRPs applied for a government program that would pay two-thirds of the salaries of their laid-off employees.

The program would have seen employees receiving funding from the Temporary Employer/Employees Relief Scheme (TERS).

However, on Tuesday, 30 April, the business rescue practitioners announced that the TERS relief funding application had not been recommended by the single adjudication committee.

Joint business rescue practitioner Anoosh Rooplal said he was very disappointed with the unsuccessful application.

Rooplal said they hoped the TERS funding would provide temporary relief to the SA Post Office’s bargaining unit staff members.

The funding would have effectively been used to upskill and retrain staff for possible job placements while they were still earning a salary.

“The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies had also offered to assist with finding placement positions for staff after their upskilling,” he said.

“The funding could have assisted employees while the business was stabilising and, in due course, growing.”

“In time, potential positions could have been made available to affected staff at the Post Office.”

The failed TERS application means the bargaining unit category of employees reverted to the current position and be retrenched.

Rooplal explained that this retrenchment impacts 4889 employees of the bargaining unit staff members.

He apologised for the turmoil the application and subsequent rejection have caused for the bargaining unit staff members and their families.

However, this should not come as a surprise, considering the SA Post Office’s past failed turnaround attempts.

The Post Office has run at a loss every year since 2013 and has failed to compete with private couriers. It has since recorded over R19 billion in losses.

It has received over R10 billion in bailouts since 2014 for one turnaround plan after the other. None of them worked.

In its latest application, the Post Office said it needs R3.8 billion of funding in addition to the R2.4 billion it received from the National Treasury in the 2023 Budget.

The bailout amounts increase, but the results stay the same. Therefore, there is no reason to believe it would be different this time around.


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