Urgent action needed to save South African Post Offices

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies
25 Jun 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP.

The revelation in a reply to a Parliamentary Question by the DA that over 300 South African Post Offices (SAPO) have been closed by the ANC government within a mere three-year period is a clear indication of complete mismanagement and disregard for the well-being of our citizens.

The closure of 314 branches, including 22 in 2020/21, 146 in 2021/22, and 122 in 2022/21, with an additional 24 closures within the first month of this financial year, demonstrates the dire state of affairs under ANC rule.

This shocking development not only undermines the integrity of our national postal service but also affects millions of people who rely on local branches to access essential services such as receiving their SASSA grants. If this trend continues, individuals may be forced to travel long distances to the nearest SASSA outlet, exacerbating their already challenging circumstances.

Furthermore, the ANC government’s plan to establish a Postbank owned by SAPO is deeply concerning. How can the ANC expect a state bank to be successfully operated by an institution that has failed to avoid liquidation and pay its employees for months on end? The potential collapse of such a bank would jeopardise the life savings of hundreds of thousands of people and further erode public trust.

The DA has consistently urged the ANC to manage SAPO transparently, with accountability and without politically connected cadre puppets. Regrettably, our calls have fallen on deaf ears, resulting in a desperate ANC scrambling to institute last-minute business rescue proceedings without a comprehensive plan to address the root issues at SAPO.

In light of this critical situation, the DA once again implores the ANC government to take immediate action. We urgently call for the privatisation of certain aspects of SAPO to ensure its profitability as a state-owned enterprise. This crucial step will not only safeguard SAPO’s survival as the national postal service but also guarantee the timely payment of salaries, medical aid, and pensions to its dedicated employees.

Additionally, we extend an invitation to the Minister for Communications and Digital Technologies, as well as other civil organisations, to join us in a collaborative effort. Together, let us develop a well-defined and actionable plan that does not burden taxpayers with repeated bailouts. We must save our post offices, protect the interests of our citizens, and ensure a prosperous future for all.

The DA remains committed to holding the ANC accountable and working tirelessly to safeguard the vital services our citizens rely on every day.