post office retrenching

Post Office staff held hostage in Dutywa, Eastern Cape. Photo: PHOTO:

SA Post Office to retrench 6000 workers and close more branches

The South African Post Office (SAPO) is planning to retrench 6000 employees and close more branches as its financial woes worsen.

post office retrenching

Post Office staff held hostage in Dutywa, Eastern Cape. Photo: PHOTO:

The South African Post Office plans to retrench 6 000 workers and close to 420 branches nationwide.

This was revealed by SAPO business rescue practitioners Anoosh Roolpal and Juanito Damons in their rescue plan.


In February this year, one of its creditors placed SAPO under provisional liquidation, and its debts stood at some R4 billion. Cabinet approved a voluntary business rescue based on a continuity report.

In 2022, thousands of workers were retrenched while a number of branches were either merged ior closed which affected mostly those in the rural areas.

According to SAPO’s chief executive, Nomkhita Mona, the company hasn’t recorded a profit since 2004, and its financial troubles began 17 years ago. Mona attributed this decline to the 2008 recession and the widespread adoption of smartphones.

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has criticised the decision and pointed the finger at the ruling party, saying it is nothing short of devastating but has been long in the making due to ANC maladministration.

DA MP Natasha Mazzone said the interventions by the business rescue practitioners will worsen the country’s unemployment crisis and worsen circumstances for the vulnerable who rely on the Post Office.

Mazzone said that besides providing postal services, SASSA beneficiaries collect social grants from the Post Office. Beneficiaries in rural communities already travelled long distances out of their pockets due to branch closures. Plans announced for further branch closures will make commutes completely unaffordable. In urban communities, this will mean longer queues and wait times.

ALSO READ: Closure of post office leaves social grant beneficiaries stranded

“We already see beneficiaries queue for whole days and often for days on end. SAPO received R7.9 billion from taxpayers from 2014 to 2019 and has only continued to deteriorate. SAPO was provisionally liquidated this February, as it defaulted on its R12.5 billion debt. It then received R2.4 billion in the National Budget, with a further R3.8 billion expected in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

“Despite this, 396 branches across the country have closed since 2020, and 6,000 workers have been retrenched. More closures and retrenchments are expected, as SAPO plans to cut a further R1.2 billion from its costs,” Mazzone explained.

post office retrenching
People in a queue outside a South African Post Office (SAPO) branch. Image: Ashraf Hendricks via Groundup