08 July 2016
SAPO Chairperson, Dr Simo Lushaba, and members of
Acting DG of the Department Mr Joe Mjwara
Senior managers of the Department and those of SA Post
Members of the media,
Thank you for coming to this briefing that is providing an update on the labour and financial agreements that the SA Post Office has entered into with workers and financial
institutions this week. We shall also take you through the authorization to establish a bank that the South African Post Office has received from the SA Reserve Bank.
We have invited you to share with you and our fellow citizens the progress we are making in turning around and modernizing the South African Post Office. This week has
marked a new dawn at the post office. The SA Post Office is firmly on the right track and I'm confident that it will find its rightful place in the digitizing world. Whilst this week has been momentous, the journey towards revitalising this strategic entity that is an integral part of the Government service delivery machine remains long.
It has taken the collective effort of many role players to get us to this point, where we are building new partnerships towards shared prosperity for post office workers, service
providers and customers.
Allow me, then, to thank the Cabinet led by President Jacob Zuma for appointing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to oversee the implementation of the turnaround of the Post Office. The guidance and support we continue to receive from the Presidency is immense. A word of appreciation goes to the capable board that is
steering the SAPO to calmer waters. This board has done good work in the 11 months that they have been appointed. The management team, led by CEO Mark Barnes, leaders of organised workers and all employees, service providers and most importantly, the customers all deserve a warm appreciation for their efforts.
A sustainable, vibrant and healthy post office has a lot of socio-economic benefits to offer our country. An efficient post office can be a cost-effective touch point for citizens to access government services and contribute towards financial inclusion.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Board has informed me that the SA Post Office has signed an agreement with recognized trade unions and other representatives of workers that settles wages and conditions of employment from 2014/2015, 2015/2016 until period ending 2016/2017. I’m further advised that this agreement supersedes all previous agreements and
brings to finality all historical labour issues.
Some of the key elements of the agreement include the following;
1. BACKPAY 2014/2015
All the qualifying bargaining unit employees will be paid a once off, taxable and non-pensionable back pay in full for eight (8) months (April to November 2014).
GENERAL INCREASE ON SALARIES: 2015/2016
We thank the workers of the SA Post Office for understanding that the company was facing financial challenges. We acknowledge that they agreed that there shall be no salary increase nor any other substantive matters addressed for the period 2015/2016 Financial Year.
3. GENERAL INCREASE ON SALARIES: 2016/2017
An Across the Board increase of 6.5% on actual basic salary/total cost to company effective from 1 April 2016. All payments will be effected on 25 August 2016.
4. CONVERSION OF EMPLOYEES
a) PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYEES
The current Permanent Part-Time Employees (PPTEs) shall be converted to Permanent Full Time Effective from 1 August 2016.
b) CASUAL EMPLOYEES
Casual employees shall be converted to PPTEs effective from 1 August 2016.
5. BRANCH MANAGERS (RETAIL)
The parties agreed that new minimum salaries will be introduced to address salary disparities at this level. All employees earning below the new minimum salary will be migrated to this new pay scale.
6. EQUAL PAY FOR WORK OF EQUAL VALUE
A task team consisting of trade union representatives and SAPO will develop a strategy and an implementation plan to ensure that implementation start on 1 April 2017.
The Board has also informed me that the have agreements they have concluded with financial institutions entail the following;
• A three-year loan facility of R3.7 billion whicH includes the existing R1 billion
• This is backed by government guarantees made available to SAPO by both myself with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance.
• This funding will enable SAPO to implement its corporate plan for 2016/17 through to 2018/19 and return to financial sustainability in future.
Earlier this week, the SA Reserve Bank gave the SAPO authorization to establish a bank. This is a significant approval towards SAPO receiving a banking license. The final level of the banking license application should be completed within 12 months, as per the legislative requirement.
The next key steps include:
• Approval of the Postbank board nominees
• The incorporation and registration of Postbank as a company having its own governance structures
• Formalisation of the relationship between SAPO & Postbank
• Transfer of business from SAPO to the new Postbank company upon incorporation.
• Registration of a bank controlling company
Ladies and gentlemen,
All these achievements are bourne of the industriousness that is uniquely South African. They demonstrate our South African ability to work together towards great achievements. This week should bring stability and lay the platform for an inclusive, brighter and shared prosperity with workers and society. The engagements between all stakeholders need to continue to ensure that we achieve a modern and sustainable post office. A post office that has improved productivity and totally focused on servicing the customers. It is in our hands.