Post Office to offer more services

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

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

The Minister and his deputy Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize briefed parliament on Tuesday on the progress that is being made in the implementation of the SAPO Strategic Turnaround Plan that was approved by Cabinet in June 2015.

He said the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has been 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.

The Post Office's Strategic Turnaround Plan requires that the organisation is modernised to focus on new businesses that are based on courier services, financial services and on the internet economy.

Minister Cwele 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.

According to SAPO CEO Mark Barnes, 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 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, Barnes said.

SAPO Board Member Mduduzi Zakwe said the Post Office's stable IT environment is an important part 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, Zakwe said.

Source: South African Government News Agency