Red Cross is deeply in the red

Published Aug 16, 2012


Joannesburg - The SA Red Cross has been forced to close its head office in Pretoria and to retrench staff in a bid to stay afloat and to keep the wolves at bay.

The Red Cross has R2.5 million worth of liabilities and is downsizing its staff numbers.

It has not paid its accounts since February.

Acting CEO Derick Naidoo admitted to the problems at the organisation.

“We are getting no funding from the government or from local donors, so we are putting in place a restoration process and will cut down on staff.”

He said they would be closing their offices in Hatfield and move to a branch office down the street.

“We owe the bank R11m, with a monthly bill of R500 000, and we have a wide range of creditors: suppliers and service providers,” he reported to a recent meeting.

Naidoo said they needed no less than R850 000 every month to keep their offices open, yet they had only a R150 000 income.

“So, technically, we are increasing our liabilities by R700 000 a month,” he said.

The staff members at the head office have taken the society to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration over the termination of their contract.

Staffers said the Red Cross had not paid anything towards their UIF or their pension fund.

Naidoo said:

“We are not a fly-by-night organisation, so we cannot flout the labour law and let them go without their dues.”

The Star

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