CEO at SA Post Office Mark Barnes says they had to close about 188 branches due to a strike action that started on Friday over wage increase.
The unions are demanding a 12 percent increase as opposed to the Post Office's offer of 6 percent.
Workers at the Post Office haven't received an increase for the past two years. Barnes says although he sympathises with the workers, SA Post Office simply cannot afford a 12 percent increase.
We didn't pull 6 percent out of a hat. We started at zero and a whole mixture of benefits and that was an all in offer that we tabled and I am hopeful that we will make progress.— Mark Barnes, SA Post Office CEO
We all know what the economics are and that where the truth begins and ends when we are negotiating. It is not like we are holding pots of money in reserves. We have to go out and look for that money.— Mark Barnes, SA Post Office CEO
Barnes says he hopes the strike will be over by the end of the week as they will be heading to the negotiation table on Monday.
He says to date, they have managed to pay 96 percent of social grant recipients who have already swapped their old Sassa card to the new Sapo cards.
To hear the rest of the interview with Mark Barnes, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SA Post Office: We simply can't afford 12 % wage increase