Cabinet approves bills to help modernise Post Office, establish Postbank

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  • Minister Mondli Gungubele said the SA Post Office Amendment Bill enables the Post Office to take advantage of technological developments.
  • He said the proposed amendments were aligned to the National Integrated Information and Communication Technology Policy White Paper of 2016. 
  • He said the South African Postbank Amendment Bill was approved to align Postbank with the Banks Act of 1990.

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele told reporters on Thursday morning that Cabinet had approved two bills two bring the SA Post Office (SAPO) up to speed with new technological developments and to bring the now separate Postbank a step closer to becoming a fully fledged bank.

Gungubele was briefing the media on the meeting Cabinet held on Wednesday. He said Cabinet's meeting approved the South African Post Office Amendment Bill and the South African Postbank Amendment Bill.

The latter of these bills has its beginnings in government's plans to separate Postbank from the Post Office and turn it into a state-owned commercial bank to service low- and middle-income consumers and households.

The Post Office has continued to struggle operationally and financially, with the entity telling Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts in November that it would need R8 billion in the medium term to keep afloat.

Gungubele said the South African Post Office Amendment Bill seeks to amend the South African Post Office Act to enable SAPO to take advantage of the technological developments in its environment.

"It will be able to revise its duties and expand its mandate. It will be a service provider of a universal postal and courier, an integrated logistics, e-commerce and will be a digital hub for business and communities," said Gungubele.

READ | Post Office 'won't survive' without R8bn medium-term bailout, deputy minister tells Scopa

Gungubele said the proposed amendments were aligned to the National Integrated Information and Communication Technology Policy White Paper of 2016, and proposed improvements to the governance provisions of the Post Office.

He said the South African Postbank Amendment Bill was approved to align Postbank with the Banks Act of 1990 and provides for the establishment of the South African Postbank Holding Company in terms of the Banks Act.

"The bill has gone through public consultation to strengthen it. Once adopted into law, the Postbank will be able to operate as a separate entity with its regulatory framework outside of the South African Post Office," Gungubele said.

The South African Post Office Amendment Bill will be released for public comment, while the South African Postbank Amendment Bill will be referred to Parliament.

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