• Road to riches

    Taxpayers keep funding structures with big plans but who knows what efficacy, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Don't fall for Ponzi scams

    An expert unpacks the tell-tale signs to watch out for.

  • Inside Labour

    A smokescreen of misleading rhetoric won't make SA's problems go away, says Terry Bell.

See More

Sapo flying without pilots

Jun 17 2012 13:10 City Press

Related Articles

Sapo group CEO departs

Sapo in corporate firing line

Union row takes nasty turn

Post Office bosses under fire

Post office staff bust in crime clean-up

Minister takes charge at Postbank


Johannesburg - Sapo’s 14 000 permanent and 8 000 temporary personnel currently have no permanent chief executive, chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO) and chief information officer.

Running without permanent chiefs has been cited as one of the reasons Sapo is failing to resolve a strike that has disrupted the delivery of mail for three months.

The lack of leadership at Sapo was reflected last week when the mailing and banking parastatal released a media statement saying the strike by its casual employees was over.

Few hours later, the Communications Workers’ Union publicly denied the strike had ended.

The union this week marched to Tshwane’s Union Buildings to protest against the use of labour broking firms at Sapo.

The two Sapo officials who occupy the positions of CEO and CFO, respectively, currently do so in acting capacities.

The union's spokesperson, Matankana Mothapo, said having no permanent chiefs had resulted in the parastatal’s decision-making process being paralysed.

“There is no leadership at Sapo and serious decisions are being deferred,” said Mothapo.

“Sapo gets 8 000 workers from labour brokers and whenever we raise the issue about labour broking we are told that the management can’t resolve it because there’s no permanent CEO,” he said.

“Having no chiefs is a problem because Sapo can’t take decisions on serious matters,” he said.

The last time Sapo had a permanent chief executive was in January, when Motshoanetsi Lefoka left the state enterprise following allegations of a R425m tender irregularities.

The same allegations – involving the awarding of a lease contract for the transferring of Sapo’s head office – also claimed the scalp of the previous COO, John Wentzel, who vacated the position last October.

This resulted in Nick Buick, a temporary worker who was Sapo’s CFO, being controversially appointed as acting chief executive.

He was criticised by corporate governance guru Mervyn King for holding the two positions simultaneously.

“The jobs . . . are different. The CFO should report to the CEO and the latter should have oversight of the work done by the CFO,” King said last October.

“Consequently, the two positions should not be held by the same person,” he said.

Buick has resigned from Sapo and is expected to leave at the end of the month.

Mothapo said Sapo should permanently fill the vacancies of chiefs soon because this affected labour.

“We need officials with authority to be employed,” he said.

Sapo spokesperson Lungile Lose said the parastatal has advertised the positions of chiefs.

“The positions have already been advertised, with the process being finalised within a few months,” said Lose.

He said the reason the strike had taken so long to resolve was because the labourers involved were neither part of a union nor were directly employed by Sapo.

“We expect the process to take between six and nine months to be finalised. In the meantime, workers’ contracts would be renewed. The striking employees have returned to work, in line with the interim agreement,” Lose said.




Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

People who fall victim to Ponzi scams are:

Previous results · Suggest a vote