Congress of the People continues to ask the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services why the government allowed the South African Post Office to run itself into the ground. We have been raising concerns about non-payment to suppliers from August of last year. Even now, SAPO is signing new agreements without having settled any of the old invoices.
While the acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Mlu Mathonsi, said more than a month ago that SAPO was on a path to recovery, COPE remains unconvinced while suppliers remain cooling their heels waiting for payment.
In anyone’s books it is a major crisis when an institution such as the national post office is so broke that it cannot pay any of its bills and has accumulated debt for 10 months.
It is also a major crisis when a company such as Siemens is unwilling to run its letter sorting machines because it too waited in vain but payment was not forthcoming. Will Syntel and Siemens keep their letter sorting machines or take them away? Will hand sorting of letters become the new regressive norm? Without technology SAPO is dead.
SAPO took premises in expensive shopping malls and ran into deep financial trouble.
The majority of COPE’s members have a struggle background. However, we understood clearly that political deployees cannot run big institutions without the requisite qualifications and experience. The ruling party places no store by MBA’s and continued with cadre deployment to the ruin of our major institutions.
Sadly, when SAPO began to get into trouble the ruling party did nothing except to allow the problem to fester and to keep the public in the dark.
If SAPO is under a rescue operation the Minister should play open cards with the nation and reveal both the depth of the problem and the nature of the rescue operation.
Issued by Dennis Bloem on behalf of COPE, Dennis Bloem is Cope Spokesperson