SAPO provisional liquidation long overdue

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications
12 Apr 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP.

Reports that the South African Post Office (SAPO) has now been placed under provisional liquidation by a single creditor, and that provisional liquidators have been appointed, comes as as no surprise.

The DA has been consistent in calling for the liquidation of the Post Office.

While the liquidators seek a pay-out for their client we equally hope that not only are personal debts covered for those who rented properties for PO branches, which were then surreptitiously closed leaving behind massive debts; but that the Post office employees’ and retired workers’ medical aid, UIF and pension contributions which the management has carefully and criminally failed to pay over for a number of years, are met in full.

This liquidation may indeed be the final straw for one of the most mismanaged entities within the Communications department.

We stand firm in our belief that the Post Office, being one of the many bottomless pit state-owned entities battling operational issues, is beyond repair, and should be liquidated.

The SAPO has lost millions in taxpayer money annually since 2013. It has slowly collapsed, despite massive bailouts, and is cutting jobs, and closing PO branches.

We have raised these issues time again, with the SAPO management in Portfolio meetings, in discussions with the Hawks, in statements and Parliamentary questions.

They were given yet another R2.4 billion earlier this year, despite the billions still owed to creditors, and previous massive bailouts from the taxpayers. This was surely a clear indication that no further bailout should be countenanced…yet it was.

The DA is against any form of bail out and will write to the Minister of Finance and call on him to confirm that there is no new bailout for SAPO but if there is, it must be used to pay the benefit contributions for staff and pensioners, not to cover SAPO debt to avoid liquidation.