The Congress of the People (Cope) is highly perturbed about the situation at the South African Post Office (Sapo) and claims the public entity is disintegrating.
“If the rule of law collapses and creditors go unpaid, institutions collapse. That is what is happening at the South African Post Office. Sapo is not honouring its commitments and it is frustrating suppliers. Sapo’s failure to pay creditors resulted in Siemens switching off its huge sorting machines,” Dennis Bloem, Cope Spokesperson stated in a media release.
According to Bloem, the company supplying forklifts to Sapo has started to remove most of their equipment because they too allegedly waited endlessly for payment. This makes it impossible for Sapo to load and offload trucks quickly and efficiently.
“Postal services will collapse and Christmas gifts will remain undelivered,” Bloem predicted. “Sapo, shockingly, has not paid some creditors for more than a year now. Accustomed to getting bailouts, Sapo is begging Treasury for R500 million. Treasury, unfortunately, has no capacity to assist and even if it did, Sapo’s problems exceed the amount it is seeking by at least three times that amount.”
He added that Cope has repeatedly urged the government to bring in private sector involvement. Each month’s delay is destroying Sapo’s viability as a business. Sapo needs private sector capital and private sector quality management.
“A company that is so laden with debt as Sapo is and that cannot generate adequate revenue, will obviously find themselves in a pickle. All of this is terribly demotivating for staff. Jobs are at stake. Businesses relying on Sapo are in trouble.”
Simphiwe Mdlalose, President of the Polokwane Chamber of Business, said that he was not aware of any complaints from local businesspeople. Staff at the Polokwane Post office referred enquiries to Sapo National Spokesperson, Johan Kruger.
Kruger was not available for comment at time of going to print.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN
Photo: Dennis Bloem, Cope Spokesperson.