The Post Office retirement fund has failed in its court bid to force the SA Post Office (Sapo) to continue making contributions to the fund despite the tough financial situation the postal agency finds itself in due to Covid-19.

A TimesLIVE report says Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) Judge Elizabeth Kubushi has dismissed the fund's case with costs, saying the economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic was of a magnitude that no-one could have predicted.

The fund took Sapo to court after not receiving members' contributions for May, June and July.

In its arguments, the fund said its concern was that the member contributions are deducted from their salaries but not paid into the fund. The fund argued that the benefit of pension contributions is a legal obligation which must be complied with, adding that according to the fund rules, this must be done monthly.

In response, Sapo agreed that it should have paid the contributions as it was supposed to, but said under the current conditions it would not have been possible.

Sapo asked for time to pay off the pension contributions.

It told the court that in July it had approached the government for financial assistance, and was still waiting for a response.

Kubushi agreed with Sapo on that submission. Kubushi, however, said findings in her judgment did not seek in any way to undermine or belittle the rights of Sapo employees to their retirement benefits that they are entitled to, and which could be affected negatively if Sapo's financial situation is not resolved.

Full TimesLIVE report