The South African Post Office (SAPO) has dropped a bombshell at the doorstep of the union by giving a notice in terms of Section 189 and 189 (A), which means it intends to dismiss 6000 workers. The notice comes a week later after the company called a meeting with the unions to discuss the 40% salary cuts or hours of work reduction with all key stakeholders present. However, the company failed to adhere to its own processes where such matters should or can be discussed at the bargaining chamber with all the key stakeholders. These stakeholders involve recognised trade unions in the SAPO and the management. Instead, the company called two meetings that were coined, “Critical Financial Position of SAPO,” and the company agreed that it would soon call the bargaining chamber to discuss these challenges.

This comes immediately after the SONA on Thursday night where the President of the Republic spoke about our improving economy that is turning the tide against the high unemployment rate. The speech gave hope to many South African’s, however it was the SOE that gave unions the notice of its intention to embark on a massive jobs bloodbath. This is a direct contrast to the spirit on which the SONA was delivered. These retrenchments will effectively mean a cut off of the Post Office network and a negative impact on the services that the entity offers to communities in particular the poor. These retrenchments are a direct threat to any plans of modernisation or recapitalisation of SAPO, therefore the turn around strategy, “Post Office Of Tomorrow,” will only be good for shelves decoration. The plan cannot be implemented without funding, nor can it be successful without workers who are crucial to the network existence of SAPO.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) calls for an urgent state intervention, which includes but not limited to financial injection. The separation of the Post Bank has a serious negative impact on the finances and the growth of the entity. The union     remains opposed to the plan to retrench workers particularly when it is clear that business prospects are greater. It is unfortunate that the postal and courier market space has been opened for multinationals companies to the disadvantage of the SOE and the people of this country. In recent times, we have witnessed how our people are suffering with a closure of a number of retail/depo’s SAPO offices in the country and the multitude of poor people being unable to access their social grants payments.

CWU is calling for an urgent meeting with the stakeholder, the Minister of           Communication and Digital Technologies together with the Minister in Treasury and SAPO executive management to map a wayforward on how to mitigate the impact and completely avoid job losses.

The end.

Issued by the office of the General Secretary CWU


CWU General Secretary

Aubrey Tshabalala

Cell: 061 481 1080