Minister Gungubele appeals to stakeholders over Post Office’s provisional liquidation

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 19, 2023


Johannesburg – Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Mondli Gungubele has appealed to members of society, South African Post Office (Sapo) clients, creditors and employees to exercise absolute calm and restraint as he continues to engage critical stakeholders in dealing with the placement of Sapo in provisional liquidation.

According to a department statement, Gungubele was encouraged by the co-operation of everybody involved.

“There is patriotic commitment by all stakeholders in this matter to uphold the public interest of keeping Sapo’s services open to the multitudes of citizens of the country, particularly the vulnerable and under-served communities,” the statement read.

The statement said that Sapo had developed an exciting and bankable strategy to transform the entity into a profitable business, responding to the demands of this age and time.

“Granted an opportunity and the required support, Sapo will safely navigate the situation it is currently going through and become the desired digital services platform,” said the statement.

Last year organisations such as the Black Sash said that more than 900 000 people were affected by Sapo’s struggles to render services to grant beneficiaries.

According to a Black Sash statement, while this may be only 5% of social grant beneficiaries, it is not acceptable.

“According to Sassa (SA Social Security Agency), at least 500 000 collect their grants at Sapo branches, and 150 000 are affected by the possibility of their mobile cash pay points being closed, which in turn will force them to find alternate payment channels at short notice.

“The Department of Social Development’s claim that it affects a minority of beneficiaries, (which) somehow makes it justifiable, is deplorable. These are the elderly and people living with disabilities who still choose Sapo branches as the primary means of accessing their grant, an option legally guaranteed to them by Sassa,“ read the organisation's statement.

The statement went on to point out that Sassa and Sapo were compelled by law to provide social grants in line with their own norms and standards.

“The deteriorating state of Sapo across the country and the impact this is having on the most vulnerable members of our society mean that both Sassa and Sapo are falling ever further short of acceptable standards of service delivery,” added the statement.

The Star