A group of concerned specialist magazine publishers has issued a tender for alternative magazine delivery services to replace the South African Post Office (Sapo).
“It is hoped that market demand for such alternative delivery arrangements by magazine publishers will encourage the formation of an effective and profitable magazine distribution industry, initially covering the metropolitan areas of every province in South Africa, and then extending to smaller cities and towns throughout the country,” said EE Publishers’ Chris Yelland, spokesman for the Concerned Group of Specialist Magazine Publishers.
The group are also following through with their threat to lodge a formal complaint with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) against Sapo. They believe Sapo has been in breach of its licence conditions for several years.
They want ICASA to consider and review its numerous complaints against Sapo and the financial and other damage to the magazine publishing industry caused by Sapo’s ongoing failure to meet its license conditions, and to sanction Sapo accordingly.
This could include punitive financial sanctions, entertaining alternative license applications, considering additional licence applications to supplement the activities the post office and even the removal of its (currently exclusive) licence.
“This formal complaint to be lodged by the publishers with ICASA is a precursor to a possible class action following the legal process, for damages sustained by the publishers resulting from the failure of Sapo to meet its license conditions. However, before such class action, the publishers will follow all other avenues of due process, which includes the formal complaint to ICASA,” Yelland said in a statement.
In the meantime, the Communication Workers Union of South Africa (CWU) has slammed an agreement reached between the post office, government and two unions. “The agreement signed has further worsened the conditions of workers in favour of the company bosses and the department,” said media officer Matankana Mothapo in a statement.
The union refused to sign the agreement. They said the 6.5% increase was “not the mandate of the workers” and that the conversion of workers into permanent positions over a period of over two years is “not acceptable”. They also object to the ruling that says these initiatives can only come into effect if Sapo recovers from its “difficult” financial situation.
“All of the above simply mean that the agreement defends management of Sapo and worsen workers conditions. Workers have further mandated CWU to continue pursuing their demands and further express their confidence in the leadership of the union. As CWU we are given a mandate to advance these demands and failure to reach any agreement will result in CWU calling for a strike early in 2015.”
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