Protesters damage Gauteng mail depot

Published Oct 1, 2014


Johannesburg - The SA Post Office (Sapo) has opened a case of malicious damage to property against protesters who vandalised the Vanderbijlpark mail-sorting depot, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Two vehicles were set alight and windows of the building were broken,” said Sapo spokesman Lungile Lose.

Sapo initially said Tuesday's incident happened at the Vanderbijlpark post office, and that one vehicle was set alight. This was later clarified.

No injuries were reported and no update was given on the strike.

There was no damage to mail and protesters did not enter the building.

Sapo's casual workers have been on strike for the past few weeks demanding permanent positions.

According to the City Press, post office employees claimed management was dragging its heels in converting casual workers to permanent staff. This was part of Sapo's labour strategy approved last year to convert 7945 casual workers to permanent employees.

Sapo was using a phased approach, offering casual workers part-time positions as an alternative to being contracted to the company through labour brokers.

“The aim of the flexible labour strategy has always been to advance the part-time employees to more permanent positions with full benefits. However, a staggered approach had to be adopted given the difficult financial position the company is in,” Sapo group chief operating officer Mlu Mathonsi was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

“Disputes with unions are around agreements made at the time that casual workers would be employed in entry level positions with limited benefits.”

Advancement to full-time positions with full benefits would only be done if Sapo was in a financial position to do so, the newspaper reported.


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