Monday, December 6, 2021

Botswana Couriers’s SA subsidiary in smokes, could there be fire…..?

Botswana Couriers has been hit by allegations of mismanagement relating to its subsidiary in South Africa, Hub 25, documents passed to Sunday Standard have revealed.

They also reveal that the logistic company may fold as employees have already been served with retrenchment letters.  

According to minutes of a meeting between the management and the consulting party in an attempt to reach consensus on the relevant issues regarding the proposed retrenchment, proposals were made to close the company.

Present at a meeting dated 19/04/2018 held in Boksburg, were Andries Brumer legal advisor for the employees (from SEESA), Letlhogonolo Doe Masendu (Acting CEO, Botswana Couriers), Sam Oule Kejelepula (Finance department) Ogolotse Kgamanyane (Human Resources). SEESA is a labour law consultant firm based in South Africa.

At the same meeting, Botswana Couriers management stated that the reasons for the proposed retrenchment were that “The Company has not been doing well since inception. We realise losses. It is not self sustaining. So hence a decision was made to close it. This whole venda is closing.”  

Replying, the management of Hub 25 insisted that “If we are suffering a loss it is due to mismanagement in Botswana. I brought in at least R million in. Botswana is the culprit. We rely on POD’s from Botswana and if they don’t do it our clients do not pay. Due to poor service delivery we lost contract.”

The management of Hub 25 also stated that “Concerns have been raised and (they have) not been attended to.  We lose invoices due to mismanagement and billing is done incorrectly.  Our trucks were taken and we can’t work proper tools.”  

In a letter dated 1o April 2018, addressed to employees, Masendu states “As a result of company being unable to sustain itself and therefore based on complete closure of the business, the employer is considering retrenchments and requires your written reaction to this as soon as possible, but not later than close of business on 19 April 2018.”

He added that “We here by enquire, as a matter of urgency, whether you have alternative proposals to avoid retrenchment, which proposals will receive our serious consideration. Should your proposals however not be feasible or we not consider such proposals as sufficient to avoid the anticipated retrenchment, we will inform you therefore and state our reasons in this regard.”

According to Masendu “Once the consultation process with you or your representative body, regarding the anticipated retrenchment, has been completed, management will advise the affected employees accordingly. Please not that Management has attempted to avoid this situation, but unfortunately have no other alternative at present.” 

Responding to Sunday Standard queries, Masendu said “We can confirm that, Botswana Couriers and Logistics’ subsidiary that is domiciled in South Africa, Johannesburg, Hub 25 Logistics, is not closed.”

On allegations of financial impropriety, “We are not aware of any financial crisis in Botswana.”

Asked what the role of SEESA is in Hub 25, Masendu said “As already mentioned, Hub 25 Logistics is not closed. We can confirm that Hub 25 Logistics has a relationship with SEESA to provide services on all labour related matters.”

He also stated that they have not paid any separation packages to Hub 25 employees.

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