ANC launches last-ditch effort to hide SAPO job losses

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies
28 Apr 2024 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP

With our elections next month, the ANC seeks to put band-aids over their job-killing wounds at the South African Post Office (SAPO). Its Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) announced this week their “final attempt” TERS (Temporary Employees Relief Scheme) application to put job losses on hold for 12 months. This seeks to buy the ANC time, as they prepare to face a reckoning at the ballot box.

South Africans should not fall for it. Job losses are the ANC’s legacy after three decades of democracy, and they must account for it.

This last-ditch effort seeks to pause 4 700 looming job losses in SAPO’s Business Rescue Process, which commenced last year. SAPO faced liquidation last year, having defaulted on its nearly R13 billion debt, and was placed under business rescue, following a R2.4 billion bailout from National Treasury.

To complete business rescue, SAPO requires an additional R3.8 billion. The DA rejects further bailouts at SAPO, which will not resolve its issues and only further bankrupt our national fiscus. SAPO has received more than R10 billion from taxpayers since 2014, yet 6 000 jobs have been lost since. Under business rescue, a further 7 000 job losses were approved by Cabinet to commence this year, however the ANC cannot afford its chickens coming home to roost shortly before elections.

Importantly, SAPO’s TERS application must still be approved by the Department of Employment and Labour, failing which job losses will continue immediately. Should the application be approved, job losses will still commence, after 12 months. It is therefore not a solution, but an election stop gap. We call on Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, who enjoys the spotlight, to stand before South Africans and SAPO employees to account and provide reassurance in this looming disaster.

The DA has a plan to rescue the Post Office. We believe that only partnerships with the private sector, which has the necessary expertise, have a chance to turn SAPO around. SAPO has the potential to be an e-services partner for particularly rural and semi-urban communities in rolling out high speed internet, providing local deliveries and distributions, as well as bringing government closer to the people through various municipal functions.

This turnaround, however, needs to happen before it is too late and SAPO cannot be saved. Next month on the 29th, voters must respond to the ANC’s job killing sprees and maladministration. A vote for the DA will restore dignity to South Africans and ensure our democracy is prosperous for generations to come.