The SA Post Office, whose board is embroiled in a battle with communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams over alleged interference, made a loss of nearly R1bn in the first quarter, almost equalling the total from the previous full financial year.

The entity is in such a dire financial position that to stay afloat it now needs more than R7bn in additional funding from the government — which itself is facing a record budget deficit and has been trying to wean state-owned enterprises (SOEs) off bailouts.

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