South Africa: Minister Siyabonga Cwele On Implementation of SA Post Office Turnaround Plan

The Minister of Telecommunications And Postal Services, Dr. Siyabonga Cwele says the South African Post Office is turning around and ready to play its part in delivering more services to all citizens

The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr. Siyabonga Cwele says the South African Post Office (SAPO) is turning around and ready to play its part in delivering more services to all citizens.

Minister Cwele and Deputy Minister Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize were briefing Parliament about the progress that is being made in the implementation of the SAPO Strategic Turnaround Plan that was approved by Cabinet in June 2015.

"The SAPO is a Titanic. It is large and takes time to turn but it is turning into an organisation that play an increasingly important part in the radical transformation of our society," said Minister Cwele.

He said the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services was engaging with the National Treasury to expedite the corporatisation of the Postbank. Nominees have passed the fit and proper process and will be appointed after following due process.

Minister Cwele said the SAPO Strategic Turnaround Plan requires that the SA Post Office is modernised to focus on new businesses that are based on courier services, financial services and on the internet economy.

He said the performance of the post office was slightly behind the projections but the focus on generating revenue through new businesses will improve performance going forward.

SAPO Board Member Mduduzi Zakwe said SAPO's stable IT environment is an important cog of the turnaround. It is a platform to launch new innovations and it is being modernised through an upgrade of our network and systems for financial services and mail operations. We are undertaking a technology upgrade at our data centre to improve resiliency because our customers are expecting secured services.

SAPO CEO Mark Barnes said customer confidence is beginning to return.

"Now that we are operationally stable, the key thing is to bring back customer confidence, especially amongst those customers who left the post office over the past three years. We have to consistently demonstrate our ability to deliver and that we have a stable workforce," he said.

Barnes said the Postbank will provide inclusive financial services at the right cost to communities in rural areas. He also said the SAPO was interested in participating in the distribution of the South African Social Security Agency grants.

"We are also focusing on e-Commerce in collaboration with the Universal Postal Union and local and international players to make a case for South Africa being an e-Commerce Hub for the Southern Africa region. In line with this, we intend expanding our space at OR Tambo by 70% and are also engaging our port and rail operators.

This will provide us with an opportunity to launch a new courier business after we closed CFG.

Source: Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services

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