Post office announces closure of 235 branches in 2024, retrenchments expected

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Post office
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In a concerning development for postal service accessibility across South Africa, the South African Post Office (SAPO) has disclosed plans to close the doors of an additional 235 post offices in 2024.

The announcement came from Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, shedding light on the imminent closures and the subsequent wave of retrenchments.

Minister Gungubele revealed that the Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) overseeing SAPO’s restructuring are hesitant to release the definitive list of branches set for closure, as it remains subject to potential amendments.

Despite this lack of transparency, the minister confirmed the inevitability of further job losses due to the closures, although he refrained from specifying exact figures.

Acknowledging the regional impact of these closures and job losses, Minister Gungubele highlighted that a significant portion of affected branches is concentrated in the Free State and North West provinces, with additional closures expected in North Gauteng, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga.

Retrenchments

“The BRPs have advised that they cannot disclose the proposed number of employees that will face retrenchment as the Section 189A facilitation process conducted by the CCMA is underway,” stated Minister Gungubele. “The disclosure of a proposed number prior to the conclusion of the facilitation process jeopardizes the course of action.”

The looming closures and subsequent layoffs add to the challenges faced by SAPO in recent years, as the organisation grapples with financial instability and operational inefficiencies. The closure of post offices not only affects accessibility to postal services but also exacerbates unemployment rates in already economically strained regions.

Minister Gungubele assured that once the final list of closures is determined, it will be made public. However, concerns linger over the impact of these closures on communities and the livelihoods of affected employees.

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