Xolani's Daily Comment

Xolani's Thoughts on 'World Post Day'

You may, or may not have heard but today is World Post Day.

On 9th October, the World Post Day is celebrated to mark anniversary of establishment of Universal Postal Union. It is the foremost forum for the cooperation among the postal services and the helps for ensuring a really worldwide network of the latest services and products. South Africa is the member of the Universal Postal Union.

More than 150 countries are recognising postal workers and postal services by celebrating World Post Day.

Shame, South Africans have nothing to celebrate..

CHRONIC medication is not reaching patients, the University of SA (Unisa) has extended the dates for thousands of students to submit assignments, direct marketing firms are stuck with millions of pieces of mail — the South African Post Office is once again crippled by a strike.

There have been five strikes since 2011 at the Post Office — one of SA’s oldest and most vital institutions — and there seems no end in sight to its labour disputes.

The organisation placed CEO Chris Hlekane on "extended leave" last week, the ninth week of the strike, and put its chief operating officer, Mlu Mathonsi, in charge.

The Post Office has for years been plagued by financial scandals and overspending and says it cannot afford to hire permanent staff with benefits. Its wage bill stands at R230m.

In February President Jacob Zuma ordered the Special Investigating Unit to probe allegations of mismanaged funds, irregular expenditure and irregular tendering for contracts at the Post Office. The irregular expenditure included using outsourced services such as DHL to deliver its mail. The investigation is ongoing.

A colleague, Alan Mathews, who was in the UK recently was telling me a story about how people in Bristol are devastated that the Royal mail now delivers their mail once a day..it used be delivered twice a day not so long ago. Well we get ours once a year..if we are lucky.

Mr Mathonsi says the Post Office is assessing the extent of damage caused by the strike. The police are investigating 41 cases relating to the strike, including arson and assault.

The Post Office has made several undertakings over the past few years to employ more than 7,000 casual workers as permanent workers with benefits. Last year there were 7,911 casual workers and when the latest strike began there were 7,556.

Telecommunications and Postal Services Deputy Minister, Hlengiwe Mkhize says the ministry has met with the three unions representing Post Office workers and a fourth organisation seeking recognition.

Xolani shares his thoughts on the Post Office Strike
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