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Gungubele steps in as post office’s troubles mount

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Apr 2023
Communications and digital technologies minister Mondli Gungubele.
Communications and digital technologies minister Mondli Gungubele.

Communications minister Mondli Gungubele wants the South African Post Office (SAPO) board and management to provide him with a detailed account of the circumstances that led to the postal service’s provisional liquidation.

Furthermore, Gungubele wants to know the steps taken by the board to address the issue, and the measures SAPO intends to implement to resolve the situation promptly.

This comes after reports emerged last week that SAPO had been placed under provisional liquidation, as a result of billions owed to a creditor.

According to a Business Day report, the national postal service was placed in provisional liquidation on 9 February, after Bay City Trading 475, to which it owed rent, approached the court for an order.

Responding to the developments surrounding the embattled entity, a statement from the communications department says: “The minister requested that the SAPO board chair and GCEO provide a detailed briefing on all litigations and debts currently facing the organisation.

“Following a thorough study of this information, the minister plans to engage the appropriate structures and ultimately provide feedback.”

Despite its troubles, former communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is on record saying government has no intention to sell the post office.

At the time, Ntshavheni added the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) was working with SAPO management and its board “to reposition the troubled institution to become relevant in the digital era, while working towards the resolution of its financial challenges”.

Incumbent minister Gungubele has also emphasised the importance of SAPO, saying it is a crucial government service platform which caters to millions of citizens and cannot afford to cease its operations.

“The department [DCDT] and SAPO must work diligently to ensure the post office transforms into an independent and profitable business entity for the benefit of the country's citizens.

“The minister assures the public that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure continuous provision of social services, timely grant payments, efficient workforce and harmonious negotiations with SAPO's creditors towards favourable outcomes.”

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