Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele says the process to corporatise Post Bank is at an aanced state.
The Minister said this when he briefed the media ahead of tabling the department’s Budget Vote speech in Parliament on Thursday.
“Government remains committed to the programme of financial inclusion through the corporatisation of the Post Bank.
“The audit of the assets and liabilities of Post Office and Post Bank has been completed. Currently, the process is to complete the fit and proper process for the prospective candidates for board membership,” he said.
The department and the South African Reserve Bank were working together towards finalising discussions on the Holding Company in line with the Post Bank Act.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the department would over the coming year also focus on ensuring that the turn-around strategy for the Post Office is implemented.
He said the strategic turn-around plan had been finalised and submitted to Cabinet for approval.
“The task of the department is to monitor the implementation of the strategic turn-around plan.
“The priority is the implementation, including addressing leadership issues through the appointment of the Board and capable management.
“We welcome the commitment of government to increase substantially the business with the Post Office,” he said.
The Minister said his department would work closely to ensure that the turn-around strategy is implemented. This would go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Post Office.
Department to roll-out broad infrastructure
The Minister said the department will, over the next 12 months, roll out broadband infrastructure to areas that President Jacob Zuma has identified.
The department has already visited four of the eight areas that were identified. In all the eight districts, the department will be connecting government offices, schools, health facilities, police stations, post offices and Thusong Centres to scalable broadband infrastructure.
The four areas are Vhembe in Limpopo, OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape, Umzinyathi and Umgungundlovu in KwaZulu-Natal.
The other four areas that the department will visit by 2015 include Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga, Thabo Mafutsanyana in the Free State, Pixley ka Seme in the Northern Cape and Dr Kenneth Kaunda in the North West.
“The aim of the visits are to determine the gaps in fibre infrastructure, the availability of access technologies, the state of current utilisation technologies and the level of skills available that will facilitate the uptake of ICTs.
“We will create district project teams to monitor and facilitate implementation of quick win connections and train public servants and community members in the areas roll-out,” he said.
National ICT Policy Review report finalised
The Minister said the report of the National ICT Policy Review has been finalised and has drawn numerous inputs from South Africans from all walks of life.
Amongst other things, the report recommends:
A policy on universal, affordable and equitable access to communication infrastructure by all South Africans, with universal service meaning the extension of networks to reach all South Africans, including those in rural areas
An open access policy that will reduce duplication, allow infrastructure sharing and direct competition away from infrastructure to services
A policy on the growth of the sector and local manufacturing in order for small business to thrive and to create jobs and
A national policy on spectrum to deal with the use and allocation of spectrum.
He said government was studying the recommendations in the report with the aim of finalising a National Integrated Policy White Paper by the end of the current financial year.
Source : SAnews.gov.za