COSATU rejects the proposed closure of 235 Post Office Branches

21 March 2024  

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) rejects the proposed closure of 235 Post Office Branches out of its existing 1 023 Branches of which currently 894 are operational.

The Federation has been appalled by the shocking conditions imposed upon the 14 000 hardworking Post Office employees over the past few years.  Forcing workers to take devastating 40% salary cuts whilst the management oversees the staggering mismanagement and systematic destruction of the once respected Post Office is scandalous.

The pending retrenchments of 6 000 postal workers 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 deal with.

It is heartbreaking to witness the neglect and disdain to which the Post Office workers have been subjected to.  Management has not only presided over decaying infrastructure but continuously sought to destroy any possibility of the Post Office’s revival by closing branches 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 and the Business Rescue Practioners 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 aggressively invest in rebuilding state capacity if the economy and the nation are to recover from the period of state capture, corruption and political vandalism. 

It is critical that Parliament moves with speed to pass the Post Office Amendment Bill and that government expedite support to the Postbank.  These are critical to repivoting the Post Office and Post Bank to enable them to grow and thrive. 

Government must recapitalise the Post Office and Postbank to give them a fair chance and the necessary liquidity to compete in their sectors.  The state 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 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