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South African Post Office Bill on Track

July 28, 2022

Department of Communications and Digital Technologies

The communications and digital technologies department plans to table the Draft South African Post Office Amendment Bill in parliament before the end of 2022.

The deputy minister of communications and digital technologies, Philly Mapulane, revealed this in an address at the official opening of the Southern African Postal Operators Association in Cape Town.

The draft bill, designed to repurpose post office infrastructure in order to provide diversified and expanded services, was published for comment in April 2022.

The draft bill aims to amend the South African Post Office SOC Ltd Act, 2011, so as to:

  • provide for the revised duties and expand on the mandate of the South African Post Office as provided for in this Act and the Postal Services Act, 1998;
  • provide for the repurposing of the Post Office infrastructure so as to provide diversified and expanded services and exploit the infrastructure capacity to extract value and forge partnerships with other stakeholders;
  • provide for the revised governance structure of South African Post Office;
  • provide for the establishment, appointment and functions of the Stamp Advisory Committee; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith.

The proposed legislation seeks to amend Section 2 of the act by including reference to expanding the objects and mandate of the post office to include services that respond to the needs of users and customers.

The draft bill also calls for government institutions including national and provincial departments, national and provincial government components and municipalities to utilise the post office and its infrastructure for service delivery and “set-aside certain services to be provided by the Post Office to assist in eliminating over-reliance on government funding by the Post Office”.

Functions of the proposed Stamp Advisory Committee include advising the Board on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a philatelic strategy; advising on events and themes that can be celebrated on stamps; assisting in identifying, articulating and prioritising themes for the annual stamp programme and commemorative stamps and encouraging and facilitating stakeholder participation in the development of themes for the annual stamp programme.

The deputy minister added that, in order to implement the “Post Office of Tomorrow strategy”, financial resources will be needed.

Discussions are underway with national treasury in this regard.

The deputy minister confirmed that the proliferation of technology has posed fundamental challenges to the postal sector over some time.

“However, there are opportunities presented for the Post to transform and to reimagine itself in order to leverage on the widespread infrastructure capacity to transform, diversify and provide services that are relevant and responsive to the needs of customers, both individuals and businesses”, he said.

According to the deputy minister, policies and legislative frameworks will also need to be adapted to facilitate transformation of designated operators to meet customer expectations.