ANC government blamed for continuing ‘Job killing’ spree at SAPO

The South African Post Office (Sapo)

The South African Post Office (Sapo)

Published Apr 6, 2024


Despite announcing grand plans to create hundreds and thousands of jobs this month, the DA has blasted the ruling party for its ‘job killing’ spree following the retrenchment of over 4000 South African Post Office (SAPO) employees.

On Wednesday Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi announced the launch of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Labour Activation Programme (LAP), where he alleged would create over 500 000 jobs during the month of April starting in Gauteng.

The project he explained would be rolled out nationally, with a R23.8b billion set aside for the implementation of the 333 projects earmarked, across as many as 21 sectors including agriculture, construction, IT, mining, transport, energy, wholesale and retail, to name a few.

The training opportunities will run for a period of 12 to 36 months with the assurance of industries offering employment for up to 1 to 2 years.

The DA’s Natasha Mazzone said however, it was concerning that the Minister was offering new jobs on the one hand while some state entities were still bleeding jobs.

Her comments following the announcement earlier this week that as many as 4700 employees at Sapo were being retrenched.

“Since 2014, SAPO has received more than R10 billion from the taxpayer, including R2.4 billion in last year’s budget, yet despite this, 6 000 jobs have been lost, a number which is now expected to grow to over 10 000. This will mean that for every billion rand spent from the taxpayer, around 1 000 jobs have been lost. This is the ANC’s legacy, and they are solely to blame.”

“Last year, SAPO was provisionally liquidated, as it could not settle its liabilities of nearly R13 billion. Its branches could not pay rent, and landlords consequently proceeded with court action to recover debt owed.”

Mazzone said it was only upon placing the Post Office under business rescue, with the assurance given by the National Treasury that further bailouts would be made, did things stabilise somewhat.

With assurances of R6.2 billion provided to fund SAPO’s business rescue process, the first R2.4 billion of which was allocated in last year’s budget, and a second tranche of R3.8 billion remaining, Mazzone this was something the country could not afford, as the ANC has also depleted the national fiscus.

“The DA unequivocally rejects bailouts at the Post Office, as a waste of hard-earned taxpayer funds that could be used elsewhere. As these funds are unlikely to be availed, SAPO will return to liquidation, and R10 billion will go down the drain, along with thousands of jobs.”

“Should the funds appear, jobs will still be lost, as the National Cabinet approved 7 000 job losses, which was revised to 6 000 upon mediation with the CCMA.

If anything the spokesperson detailed how with a new mandate, the Post Office could still be set up for a digitised future, including providing e-services like high-speed internet rollout to close our country’s internet divide; local deliveries and distribution; and other services like municipal accounts, permits, vehicle licensing.

This turnaround, however, needed to happen before it was too late, Mazzone added.

Saturday Star

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