Johannesburg‚ September 18 (BDlive) — The South African Post Office has reported a net loss of R179m for the 2012-13 financial year‚ in what it calls a "tough trading environment”.
CEO Christopher Hlekane said on Tuesday that the group faced a hostile operating environment‚ coupled with various identified business risks which the leadership intended to address to realise the group’s potential.
Hlekane said he was confident that with the current leadership and the recently introduced changes in the business strategy‚ the headwinds faced by the group could be overcome.
"The decline in mail business‚ which accounts for 71% of the group’s business mix‚ and employee strikes have particularly accounted for most of the financial losses during this period‚” Hlekane said.
The strike in February and March led to about R100m in revenue losses. Downward trends in the courier business‚ the loss of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) contract and the withdrawal of the state subsidy were some of the operational challenges the Post Office faced.
"We are working tirelessly with organised labour to devise a long-term solution to even out our seemingly unstable labour environment which hampers productivity‚” Hlekane said.
"We have abolished the use of labour brokers within the group and are converting our temporary workers into permanent part-time ones‚ in line with our operational model and affordability.”
He said performance targets had also been introduced for the group’s various business divisions‚ something that historically had been lacking.
The corporatisation of Postbank was well under way‚ he said‚ and it expected to be awarded a full banking licence in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Postbank customer accounts increased from 6.9-million to 7.3-million during the reporting period‚ and the bank also obtained a VISA licence. © BDlive 2013