WATCH: 6 000 retrenched post office workers question voting for ANC

Striking workers say more than 6 000 families have been shattered and are asking what to do come the general elections on 29 May.

As a group representing 6 000 retrenched post office workers marched to government offices on Monday demanding their jobs back, they also questioned voting for the ANC if their voices were not heard.

The group handed over a memorandum of demands, and the South African Post Office (Sapo) has agreed to halt all retrenchments for now, looking to other sources to recover funding for the next year.

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‘We voted it in’

“This government, we voted it in. We are the ones who gave this ANC what it has today,” said Tutu Mokoena, spokesperson for the striking workers, outside the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies in Hatfield, Pretoria.

Mokoena said Minister Mondli Gungubele only held his office because the post office workers had voted for the ANC.

“What do we say to our children? What do we say to workers when workers must go vote on the 29th [of May] and 6 000 families have been shattered? Must we say ‘oh ANC, you are still relevant’. How do we say that?

“R1.2 billion has been taken from you. You are dismissed and after being dismissed the post office still pays hundreds of millions to security guards.”

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Mokoena said the striking workers were striving for dignity, and a basic income, as this was all the work some families had.

“We are saying government cannot take money of the workers.”

‘Pocketed’ pension funds

Mokoena said 4 700 workers had signed a petition to show they are not party to any discussion happening between the minister and the workers’ unions.

This because their voice has not been heard, he claimed.

“Everyone who had a clear conscience should have spoken to their leadership and said ‘hey, maybe the timing of this thing, it’s wrong’. But the leadership never cared about that.”

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Mokoena claimed that statutory deductions had been implemented on salaries since 2020 – including on pension, UIF, Sars and medical aid – but funds were not deposited into the right accounts. Instead they were pocketed.

“The unions agreed that R1.2 billion of your money – not the post office’s money, your money – that they have taken from your pension, must now be a credit. You are now creditors.

“That money will only be paid when Treasury agrees to give post office R3.2 billion. What is that?” asked an exasperated Mokoena.

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