Post office needs R2,3 Billion to upgrade old branches

2012-12-27 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The South African Post Office (Sapo) must upgrade and renovate 1 065 post office branches countrywide.

The exercise will cost Sapo R2,13 billion and it is not clear which department will provide the funds.

Minister of Communications Dina Pule said the run-down branches needed urgent attention. “The work will probably take more than 10 years and the cost estimate is at current prices,” Pule said in response to a question in Parliament.

Pule said South Africa also needed 2 331 new post offices nationwide.

She said she had arrived at this number by applying the requirements

set by the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa, which calls for one post office for every 10 000 South Africans.

The new branches are not included in the renovations and budget of R2,3 billion. It is not clear what the new branches will cost.

The ANC said at its recent Mangaung congress that the Post Office’s Post Bank must become the state’s bank.

The Post Office made a profit of R158 million in the year to March 2012, an increase of 32% over the previous year, but the subsidy was cut to R51 million from R400 million and Sapo expects to make a loss of R21 million without the subsidy next year.

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