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SAPO readies ‘In My Pocket’ mobile service

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To boost its competitiveness, the SA Post Office (SAPO) says it plans to bring its services to the customer, instead of expecting clients to head into a physical branch.

As a result, it will launch its first mobile-driven service under the ‘SAPO In My Pocket’ strategy “very soon”, it notes in a statement, adding that more services will follow.

The SAPO statement addressed some of the issues raised during a Standing Committee on Public Accounts meeting this week, including the national postal service’s financial, skills and modernisation challenges.

While SAPO is mum on the type of mobile-driven service it will soon introduce, it previously indicated its new motor vehicle licence app is in development, to allow motorists to complete the full renewal process via the app.

SAPO noted the renewal of motor vehicle licences is the most popular transaction at post office branches.

According to the post office, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the migration to electronic forms of communication.

In addition, it points out that it operates with insufficient human resources in some areas, while there is an oversupply in other areas. “A number of executives have left the organisation, resulting in a loss of institutional knowledge, intellectual capital and relevant skills to successfully implement the ‘Post Office of Tomorrow’ strategy.

“The SA Post Office is currently developing a training and reskilling programme for employees at all levels, to bring their skills in line with the requirements of a modern postal service.

“The funding which the SA Post Office has applied for is intended to address the current situation and set the organisation towards a path to sustainability.”

The national postal service is reportedly looking for a R8 billion bailout from government; however, its request has been denied by National Treasury.

An entity of the communications ministry, the post office has, for a long time, had a reputation of being behind the digital evolution curve and burgeoning e-commerce space.

In this regard, SAPO says it’s achieved “good progress” in becoming part of the e-commerce sector and continues to source new business.

“The SA Post Office is the exclusive partner of the e-commerce giant Wish.com in South Africa and has concluded similar agreements with Mail Americas, Signature Mail, ICE and CNE.

“The intention is to act as distribution hub for these companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The SA Post Office does not intend to partner only with international companies, but plans to extend similar partnerships to South African e-commerce companies.”

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