The SA Post Office is working on defining its role in the digital and Internet era.

This follows a two-day strategy workshop together with the Department of Communications, where international and local postal services experts dealt with best practices in the post services industry.

The SA Post Office is now working on a strategy and programme with short-, medium- and long-term goals.

“The SA Post Office has a very crucial service and developmental role to play,” says Communications Minister Yunus Carrim.

“We are prepared to assist you to the extent we can to fulfil this role. But it’s mainly up to you. You need to restructure, fill in senior vacancies with skilled people, finalise investigations into mismanagement and earn the confidence of the people as an efficient and effective organisation.”

Dr Nelly Manzini, acting chairperson of SAPO, says: “We want to use this strategy workshop as part of the process to re-position the SAPO and become more active in the delivery of government services such as the distribution of school text books. We would also like to negotiate with government on a role in distributing social grants.”

The Ministry has also been engaging with SAPO on the need to increase accountability and improve corporate governance. This discussion was a follow up on a meeting with the SAPO board on 5 December at which the Ministry of Communications handed a report that investigated irregularities within the Post Office.

The SAPO board replied to the recommendations in the report and agreed to act on two cases immediately and carry out further investigations into other cases mentioned in the report. SAPO intends these investigations to be finished by the end of February.

“The board of the directors of the SA Post Office positively welcome the recommendations of the SSG report handed to us by the Minister on 5 December 2013. This report constitutes one significant contribution to the SA Post Office Board’s efforts to improve governance in the organisation.

“Our commitment is to implement the recommendations of this report within the period agreed with the Minister and we remain indebted to the Minister for augmenting our efforts of guiding the SA Post Office towards its sustainability given the crucial role of this organisation to our society,” says Dr Manzini.