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SAPO to establish new bank

By Danielle van Wyk

The South African Post Office (SAPO) has now been granted authorisation by the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) to establish its own bank.

“Following back-breaking work by our team, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, amongst others crucial stakeholders, the SA Reserve Bank has approved the first level application for Postbank to receive a banking license. The next and final level should be completed within 12 months, as per the legislative requirement,” stated SAPO.

The authorisation follows SAPO’s application to SARB to corporatize its banking division, which will allow them to now lend money, offer savings accounts, banking cards and other services.

“The next key steps include approval of the Postbank board nominees, the registration of Postbank as a company having its own governance structures, formalisation of the relationship between the SA Post Office and Postbank and transfer of business from the SA Post Office to the new company.

“We have also signed a joint agreement with the recognised trade unions to settle wages and conditions of employment from 2014/2015, 2015/2016 to the period ending 2016/2017; a matter which has resulted in major business risk in the past,” stated chairperson of the SAPO’s board, Dr Simosezwe Lushaba.

SAPO, as is, retains a huge ‘developmental state role’ and translating this into a venture of profitability bodes well for the South Africa’s economic future, added Lushaba.

“Our overall value to the nation, be it through Postbank or the SA Post Office, is matchless as it captures those citizens who are at the periphery of the mainstream economy. Further, our unrivalled customer network, which spans particularly the areas uncovered by the commercial entities, puts us on the front foot; it is our springboard to sustainability.

“This is the beginning of an important chapter whose successful completion is rooted in our ability to tangibly improve our customer value proposition. I am confident that we will leverage the opportunity optimally and drive the elusive change to fruition,” Lushaba remarked.

Though an established brand and entity, SAPOhave said that they are not looking to directly compete with the main players in the industry as yet.

“Although no salary increases are expected for SAPO’s 22 000 staff members for the 2015/2016 financial year, the company committed to an overall increase of 6, 5% on actual basic salary or total cost to company which came into effect on 1 April 2016.

“SAPO said the payments will be effected on 25 August 2016. In addition, the company will convert Permanent Part-Time Employees (PPTEs) to permanent full-time employees effective from 1 August 2016,” the company reportedly explained.

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