Post office strike cripples operations

Strikers have been accused of using guerrilla tactics to stop the delivery of mail.

FILE: Striking Post Office workers protest outside the Tshwane Mail Centre in Pretoria demanding a 15% wage increase. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Telecommunications and Postal Services Portfolio Committee has heard that the prolonged strike in the Post Office has crippled all operations.

Andrew Nongogo, General Manager for Public Affairs at the post office told a meeting of parliamentarians on Friday that strikers used guerrilla tactics against post offices and this made the delivery of mail difficult.

Nongogo told parliamentarians that even though mail could be sorted, drivers were being intimidated and thus could not deliver mail.

The prolonged strike that has crippled the Post Office has been the most violent postal strike ever, the committee heard yesterday.

He says the strike is an unprotected one in terms of labour law.

Postal Service Minister Siyabonga Cwele said the post office had decided to do away with the labour broking system, and contract workers directly.

However, he said the management problems at the Post Office were chronic and its sustainability could be threatened.

"Some of them have led to speculations of maladministration and that's why we have the SIU investigation."

Chair of the Portfolio Committee, Ms Mmaloko Kubayi said labour unions must take responsibility for the damage caused to post office property at the hands of striking employees and appealed to workers to end the strike as a matter of urgency.