SA Post Office taken to court over R600 million in unpaid medical aid fees

Trade union Solidarity will bring an urgent court application against the South African Post Office for failing to pay contributions of more than R600 million to employees’ medical funds.

Solidarity said it would launch the urgent court application against the SA Post Office (SAPO) as early as Tuesday, 28 September.

“Not only does the Post Office violate its statutory and contractual obligations towards its employees, but it also poses a threat to the lives of its workers through this failure,” said Anton van der Bijl, head of Legal Matters at Solidarity.

“Some of our members are suffering from serious chronic conditions such as cancer, and they rely on their medical cover to access treatment and medication for those conditions.”

“If SAPO does not pay these overdue contributions, the employees will lose access to such treatment”.

According to Solidarity, corruption, mismanagement and state decay have become endemic to South African public institutions.

“It is a pity that we have to go to court time and again to force state institutions to do the right thing,” said Van der Bijl.

The court action by Solidarity follows a report by the Sunday Times, which highlighted the extent of the problems.

The report alleged that around 15,000 SAPO workers could lose their medical aid cover with Medipos from October because their employer owes the insurer R602 million in member contributions.

Medipos principal officer, Thabasiwe Mlotshwa, said the SA Post Office had not paid the scheme contributions made by employees in the last 15 months.

“Despite continued engagements with SAPO executives and the escalation to the board, these engagements have not borne any outcome that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the scheme,” Mlotshwa stated.

Because of the non-payment, Medipos sent a letter on the decision to the impacted SAPO employees last week.

“The board has regretfully had to come to a decision that should your arrear contribution not be received by 30 September, your membership will be suspended with immediate effect from 1 October.”

“This means you will have no cover for medical expenses.”

Now read: Meltdown at the Post Office

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SA Post Office taken to court over R600 million in unpaid medical aid fees