Post Office roasted after posting R1,5bn loss
The South African Post Office came in for a grilling from parliament's committee on telecommunications & postal services on Tuesday. By Duncan Alfreds.
The South African Post Office came in for a grilling from parliament’s committee on telecommunications & postal services on Tuesday.
The auditor-general’s report into the financial performance at the Post Office showed regression in key areas related to management, financial controls, taxation and goal attainment.
The AG showed that a lack of adequate financial control contributed to irregular expenditure of R576,8m and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R95m.
“You need to entrench discipline to ensure accurate and relevant financial statements,” auditor Wikus Jansen van Rensburg told the committee.
The Post Office reported a loss of R1,5bn in the 2015 financial year, and a provisional loss of R1bn in the current year.
In terms of the organisation’s performance indicators, the Post Office scored just 14%.
In its presentation, the company told parliament that the results reflect problems related to cash flow as well as the impact of the four month strike at the organisation in 2014.
“It is common knowledge that the results we are to present do not communicate a good story,” said deputy chair Bulelwa Soci.
Data from the results presentation further showed that the Post Office posted losses of R227m in 2013, climbing to R407m in 2014, before jumping to R1,5bn in 2015.
“It is without doubt a shocking set of financial results,” said Democratic Alliance MP Cameron MacKenzie.
Committee chair Mmamoloko Kubayi also expressed frustration at the situation.
“My agitation with the Post Office is that since 2014 we just sit with the same thing,” said Kubayi.
Acting chief financial officer Nicola Dewar said that the Post Office had still not recovered to pre-strike revenue levels but that it has put mechanisms in place to ensure sound fiscal governance.
“We didn’t achieve any of our financial metrics because the Post Office continued to post losses. There was a lot of turnover of staff — we lost a lot of good skills,” she added.