The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele PHOTO:

PRETORIA - The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele has welcomed the agreement reached by the SA Post Office (SAPO) and its recognised unions regarding salary increases.

The agreement, reached on Wednesday, ends a strike which started on July 3.

In terms of the agreement, Post Office employees across the board will receive a salary increase of 6.5 percent, backdated to April 1.

Furthermore, the contracted working hours for permanent part time employees, have been moved from 21.5 hours per week to 27.5 hours per week.

“It is instructive that the SAPO and its unions reached a settlement on the day the world celebrates the gift of life of our global icon Tata Nelson Mandela. One of the lessons we learnt from Madiba is the ability of reaching sustainable solutions in a non-violent way around a negotiating table,” said Cwele.

He said the SAPO and its unions have a common interest in ensuring a sustainable future for the organisation in the face of increasing competition in its traditional markets.

"The post office remains an important organisation which enables citizens in rural areas to access government services. The latest example of this is the partnership it has with SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) to pay social grants,” he said.

- African News Agency (ANA)