Almost 5,000 Post Office job cuts back on the table

 ·2 May 2024

The South African Post Office’s bid for relief from the temporary employer/employee relief scheme (TERS) has failed, putting mass job cuts at the state entity back on the table.

The post office withdrew retrenchment notices in April after unions successfully convinced the group to try one final shot at turning the business around.

However, the group’s joint Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) announced on Worker’s Day (1 May) that the Single Adjudication Committee had not recommended the TERS relief funding application.

The ruling, issued to the BRPs from the CCMA commissioner, followed a joint application by the Business Rescue team and relevant labour unions to the committee to seek TERS relief funding for the Post Office’s bargaining unit staff.

Joint Business Rescue Practitioner, Anoosh Rooplal said that the rejection was disappointing.

“The TERS funding would (have provided) temporary relief to the bargaining unit staff members, as the funding would have effectively been used to up-skill and re-train staff for possible job placements whilst still earning a salary,” Rooplal said.

“The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies had also offered to assist with finding placement positions for staff after their upskilling.”

As was noted in the application agreement, the withdrawal of the termination letters was conditional on the success of the TERS application and if not successful, as is the case now, the bargaining unit category of employees would revert to the current position and so be retrenched.

This retrenchment impacts 4,889 employees of the bargaining unit staff members.

“We tried our very best and acted in good faith, together with the unions, to make a final attempt to apply for TERS relief funding, to limit the impact on possible retrenchments and provide a temporary relief for the bargaining unit”.

“We are conscious of the turmoil that this application and subsequent rejection will and has caused the bargaining unit staff members and their families and for that we are deeply sorry,” Rooplal said.

“Should the application have been successful, we believe that the outcome for the affected employees may have led to a better outcome for them and their families, even if it was only for a short period.”

Read: 4,700 South African Post Office jobs safe – for now

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