Cape Town – Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Mondli Gungubele said on Wednesday that he has instructed the SA Post Office (Sapo) and the department to do everything possible to prevent Sapo from being liquidated and to safeguard the services it offers.
Responding to questions in the National Assembly, Gungubele said the provisional liquidation of Sapo had the potential to affect ordinary South Africans who depended on it for services.
“If it becomes a final order, not less than 700 SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) that support Sapo will be affected,” Gungubele said.
He said 6.9 million beneficiaries who received their grants and not less than 12 000 workers would also be affected.
Sapo was placed under provisional liquidation after an application was made by property company Bay City Trading 475 for unpaid rent in the Pretoria High Court last month. The matter is expected to be heard on June 1.
Asked if Sapo would oppose the application considering the creditor was now paid, Gungubele said they were working on the best possible solution and the primary purpose was to make sure that Sapo did not disappear.
“The option we are to take will be of such a nature that creditors remain comfortable with regard to the future of the institution.
“The issue of challenging the liquidation does not come across as attractive to us, other than finding the best possible solution to be agreed between us and the creditors.”
Asked why he had appointed the same board that mismanaged Sapo in the interim to oversee the entity’s bailout by the National Treasury, Gungubele said they were in the process of appointing a new board.
The minister said the old board was kept for purposes of institutional memory and accountability in the interim as they worked on the appointment of the new board.
“The existing board will clarify the conditions that placed us where we are,” Gungubele said.