MKP condemns retrenchments at SA Post Office

Published Apr 9, 2024


The uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has condemned the impending retrenchments at the South African Post Office (Sapo).

Last week, the entity’s business rescue practitioners began sending out 4 700 retrenchment letters to staff.

It is reported that the job cuts are fewer than the initially planned 6 000 after consultation with unions at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The consultations started in January and were completed on March 22.

After the retrenchments, Sapo will be left with 6 383 staff, down from 11 083.

In a statement, MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the party was concerned about the impending lay-offs.

“The MK Party expresses its profound concern and disapproval of the Ramaphosa-ANC government’s recent announcement to drastically reduce the South African Post Office’s (SAPO) workforce from 11 083 to a mere 6 383 employees.

“This decision threatens to retrench approximately 42% of SAPO’s current staff, impacting around 4 700 individuals and more approximately 12 000 other affected family members.

“Such a move is not only cold-hearted but also recklessly timed, as it unfolds against the backdrop of an economy growing at a sluggish rate of approximately 1% and a staggering unemployment rate of 42%, with the black community being disproportionately affected,“ Ndhlela said.

The party has blamed Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan for the Sapo crisis.

“The downward spiral of the Post Office began when Pravin Gordhan, in the year 2013, when as the then Finance Minister, decided to unilaterally and single handedly stop the annual grant due to the Post Office to the tune of R150m.

“Pravin’s intent was to bring the SOE (state-owned enterprise) to its knees in order to privatise it for his white monopoly capital friends,“ he said.

The party has said that it would reverse all the ANC’s neo-liberal policies if it came into power after the elections.

“The MK Party commits to reversing these injustices upon assuming office on May 29, 2024. Our immediate actions will include halting all pending retrenchments and initiating efforts to reinstate those who have been unjustly removed from their positions.

“We pledge to restore the integrity, stability, and operational capacity of our SOEs and to prioritise the creation and preservation of jobs for South Africans,“ the party said.

Last month, Gordhan said he was winning the fight to save SOEs following years of state capture.

“As we head towards the end of the sixth administration, there is every reason to look back at some of the most consequential steps we have taken in the past five years to stabilise our state-owned enterprises and lay the basis for important reforms.

“If it were not for the interventions that this government had implemented to recover, renew and rebuild our SOEs, we would be in a much worse position as a country,” he said.