COSATU condemns the appalling neglect and abuse of Post Office workers

19 January 2024  

The Congress of South African Trade Unions condemns in the strongest possible terms the shocking abuses being imposed upon the 14 000 hardworking Post Office employees.  Forcing workers to take devastating 40% salary cuts whilst the management oversees the staggering mismanagement and systematic destruction of the once well-respected Post Office is nothing short of scandalous. This says something in a nation which has seen no shortage of callous and incompetent CEOs.

The pending retrenchments of 6 000 postal workers comes on the back of management failing to pay workers their backpay and denying the access to their medical aid services by fraudulently failing to transfer their contributions to their scheme despite deducting them. This is a criminal offence that the Hawks, SARS, SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority need to be seized with.

It is heartbreaking to witness the neglect and the disdain to which the Post Office workers have been subjected to.  Management has not only presided over decaying and collapsing infrastructure but has continuously sought to destroy any possibility of the Post Office’s revival by closing branches and thus drastically reducing its footprint across the nation and its customer base.

We agree with COSATU’s Affiliate, the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) that the Post Office should have been compensated after the separation of the Post Bank from the Post Office. We call on the government to work with the union to find an amicable solution and take seriously the issues they have been raised with regards to their working conditions. 

Government needs to take the issue of rebuilding state capacity more seriously if the economy and the nation are to recover from the period of state capture, corruption and political vandalism.  Allowing political principals to sleepwalk through life whilst their portfolios implode is a recipe for implosion.

It is critical that Parliament moves with speed to pass the Post Office Amendment Bill and that government table implement the Postbank Amendment Bill at Parliament.  These two laws are critical to repivoting the Post Office and Post Bank if they are to be able to grow and thrive. 

The government must recapitalize the Post Office and Postbank to give them a fair chance and the necessary liquidity to compete in their sectors.  Government at all levels from national, provincial to local, from SOEs to entities; needs to play its role in utilising the Post Office and Postbank as their preferred service providers. This is important if these institutions are to have a fighting chance of stabilising and being succeeding. 

SASSA too needs to pay its fair share to the Post Office for the cost of its disbursement of billions of Rands every month to the millions of social grant recipients. 

COSATU will continue to work with CWU to implement to defend collective bargaining and demand better wages and improved working conditions for workers.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687