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Communications and Digital Technologies Minister announces that Postbank will take over some Post Office branches

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister announces that Postbank will take over some Post Office branches

Cape Town – Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has revealed in Parliament that Postbank will, for the first time, start operating its own branches and absorb some of the 144 closed SA Post Office (Sapo) branches.

DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard asked Ntshavheni whether she and her department would ensure that Postbank branches remain open at or near branches of the SA Post Office that have been shut down.

The Postbank doesn’t have independent branches and relies heavily on the Sapo branches network, Ntshavheni said.

In June, Ntshavheni revealed that a total of 144 branches of the Post Office had been closed across the country.

Most of the Sapo branches were in urban areas and closed because they were not profitable, the Cape Times reported at the time.

“The Postbank is finalising its branch strategy that will optimise the availability of Sapo branches, including re-opening closed Sapo branches where those will be commercially viable with augmented services of Sapo,” Ntshavheni said over the weekend.

“Postbank currently does not have its own branches and relies on the Sapo branch network as well as additional channels. The Postbank Act requires Postbank to utilise Sapo infrastructure and Postbank will only build it where there is no Sapo coverage.”

Communication Workers Union (CMU) general-secretary Aubrey Tshabalala promised an interview with the Cape Argus, but did not pick up calls at the weekend.

Ntshavheni’s revelations come as her department told MPs last week that the Post Office was in dire need of a R3.4bn bailout in order for it to stay operational.

soyiso.maliti@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

Original Article