Landlords force Post Offices to close

Landlords force Post Offices to close

Four months into the South African Post Office (SAPO) strike and things seem to be going from bad to worse for Post Office customers as some of its Western Cape branches have been forced to close temporarily as rentals have not been paid.

Martie Gilchrist stated in an interview on EWN that its mall outlets are especially affected.

“Unfortunately, those premises have been closed by the landlord because we are late with the payment of rent. This is due to a cash flow problem in the current situation where we have had a strike for quite some time.”

The post office’s financial status is dire, as its latest financial statement shows a net loss of R359m.

The parastatal has pointed to the protracted unprotected strike as one of the factors causing its cash flow problems, as well as the fact that this is the first year it has had to operate without a state subsidy.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) however says that the problems run deeper and are the result of corruption and an ineffective board. The union has called for the entire board to be axed, and is in a deadlock with SAPO over a wage increase of 7%. SAPO is offering 6%.

This strike has had a devastating affect on many businesses, with some smaller enterprises having to shut their doors. The South African Institute of Fundraising (SAIF) says that the countries charities are suffering serious financial losses as a result of the strike, and some magazine publishers have even petitioned the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to suspend SAPO’s operating license.

By Jenni McCann 

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