The SA Post Office (Sapo) said the suspension of its account by the South African Airways (SAA) was grossly unfair on Thursday.
Sapo said that the “genuine reasons” behind the action of suspension were not shared with the public, leaving the SA Post Office “gravely exposed”.
The SAA said on Wednesday that it suspended the account “after it became clear that payment by the SA Post Office had been outstanding for quite a while now”.
“We sadly have reached a point where we have run out of options, but to suspend the SA Post Office’s account,” said SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali.
Acting Sapo CEO Mlu Mathonsi said that the recent suspension occurred without even a phone call to the chief financial officer, the administrator or himself.
“The delayed payment of the SAA account is linked to disagreements that the parties had relating to certain invoices dating back to November 2014,” he said.
He said whilst they were ironing out their differences around the invoices, and with time lapsing in the process, “the same invoices were becoming due for payment resulting in significant delays in the payment thereof and on these bases the account was suspended”.
Sapo in a race against time – Sapo
“With the committed support from our government, the SA Post Office is racing against time to turn the business around so as it becomes the service provider, which is attractive to the customers,” said Mathonsi.
“Such reports, which are unfortunately underserved, have wide and far-reaching implications for the company, particularly at this very critical stage of our recovery plans.”
Mathonsi assured customers who rely on airmail services that the suspension didn’t have any discernible impact from a service delivery perspective due to the fact that it lasted for a couple of hours, with the amount owed having been paid on 1 April, “effectively a few hours from the suspension”.
“Additionally, SAA is not the only service provider for our airmail and services to our customers were never at risk.”
We are making progress – Sapo
“It is an irrefutable fact that we are facing an objectively negative financial position, but are making progress in turning the situation around for the benefit of all our stakeholders especially those on whom we are dependent to be in business,” said Mathonsi.
“We exploring various options to honour our liabilities.”
Mathonsi said the effects of last year’s strike at Sapo were far-reaching.
“Not only does the company have to deal with the direct costs of the strike, but it also has to withstand the rough financial effects of lost market ground in many of its key revenue generating areas.”
“We are now also slowly regaining lost ground, even though this is just the first step in the hard work that we still have to do to build a sustainable business,” said Mathonsi.