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Sapo boss requests cash injection from banks, govt

While Mark Barnes painted a grim picture of Sapo’s financial state, he was upbeat about its prospects.

FILE: Post office losses were R1,5 billion in 2014/15 and it’s expected to rack up another R1 billion loss for the 2015/16 financial year. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - New South African Post Office (Sapo) boss Mark Barnes is looking for bridging finance from banks and a cash injection from the government to put the ailing entity back in business.

Barnes, a businessman who was appointed in January after offering to turn the troubled Sapo around, briefed Parliament's telecommunications and postal services committee for the first time today.

While he painted a grim picture of Sapo's financial state, he was upbeat about its prospects.

Barnes says he can make the Post Office profitable by 2018.

"Just by the injection of cash you can switch it back on again."

He says the Post Office can't afford another lengthy strike, which saw people lose confidence in its ability to deliver.

"The damage that the 2014/15 strike, which was about a 30 percent impact on revenue, never bounced back."

Post Office losses were R1,5 billion in 2014/15 and it's expected to rack up another R1 billion loss for the 2015/16 financial year.

Unaudited results for the first 10 months of the current financial year show a further loss of just over R1 billion.

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