DA wants Sapo’s R2.4bn bailout used for benefit of staff

The DA wants Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to provide a detailed report explaining how the R2.4-billion financial aid allocated to SA Post Offices (Sapo) should be apportioned.

According to Dianne Bernard, Sapo is fraught with mismanagement and corruption and should not be trusted with large bailouts.

She said the department has requested and received massive bailouts over the past few years, but failed to improve its operations, which resulted in a 40% salary cut for staff.

“Year after year, the Sapo has requested and received massive bailouts while failing utterly to improve its operations,” Bernard said.

“For instance, in 2022 they requested R3.4-billion. In 2021, they asked for R8-billion and in 2020 they sought R4.9-billion.

“Sapo’s continuous mismanagement and corruption have resulted in a planned 40% salary reduction for employees and the potential loss of 6 000 jobs.”

She said the DA was informed recently that a probe by the Hawks is at an advanced stage. 

“This relates to the Sapo management taking medical aid, pension and other ‘contributions’ paid by staff and pensioners and not handing them over to the medical aid, or pension, but rather using that money elsewhere.

“The consequences for staff and pensioners have been catastrophic.”

She said because government would not root out corruption at Sapo, it is DA’s job to seek assistance from other law-enforcement and security agencies.

She said she has received a letter from an employee detailing how her mother was turned away from hospital because her medical aid had been discontinued due to non-payment.  

“This while the [Sapo] CEO earns almost R4-million per year, but staff medical aid contributions of R700-million remain unpaid, leaving employees without medical cover.”

Bernard added that she remains concerned that government has not been clear on how the R2.4-billion boost should be used.

The DA demands that Sapo be given strict instructions on how to spend the money instead of allocating it to vanity projects and reputation management.

“We urge that the R2.4-billion, which will sadly disappear like the morning mist, be allocated towards fulfilling Sapo’s outstanding financial obligations.”

These include the payment of outstanding medical aid contributions and pensions, and proper compensation of the 6 000 employees who are likely to lose their jobs, she said.

“We call on the minister of finance to provide a detailed report on how the R2.4-billion bailout must be apportioned and to ensure that the money is used for the benefit of staff.

“We have written to him today asking him to provide exactly that,” said Bernard.

To read more political news and views, click here.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here

Latest News