Deputy Speaker, hon members, Ministers and the Deputy President, on 1 December 2010 the SA Postbank Limited Act came into being. The Act provided for the incorporation of the Postbank division of the SA Post Office as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Post Office. In terms of that Act, the Postbank will trade as the SA Postbank Limited.
The Act came into operation on 22 July 2011 and its implementation started around August 2011, with a number of activities being performed by different key players, among others by the Department of Communications, the National Treasury, the SA Postbank, the Post Office and the SA Reserve Bank, under the committee wards that were established for that particular work. Indeed, considerable progress has been made in the implementation of that Act. The transactional advisor was appointed and the lodging of the licence has already been started.
The process to separate the assets and liabilities between Postbank Company and the Post Office has already been concluded. The co-operation agreement between the two companies in terms of how to use the infrastructure has already been done. In addition, we must thank the Treasury that a minimum amount has been put aside to ensure that this process becomes a success.
However, we must indicate that during this process the SA Reserve Bank raised some concerns about some of the provisions of the Bill, hence we are here today, talking about the amendment of this particular Act. Among other sections that needed amendment is section 3, which exempted the Postbank from the provision of the Banks Act. Section 4 of that Act needed to be repealed. That section talked to the requirement of compliance by the Postbank, which, originally, that Act placed squarely on the Minister.
This Bill also seeks to amend section 25, which ensures that the powers of the Minister to intervene in the Postbank Company are limited or comply with the Banks Act in terms of section 60(6), section 69 and section 69(a) of the Banks Act. Indeed, for us as the ANC, we see the Postbank as important postal infrastructure aimed at achieving socioeconomic developmental goals in line with the agenda of a developmental state. The Postbank must become the preferred bank of choice for the poor. For this reason it must become sustainable, hence the amendment in order to guarantee a sustainable model that upholds the values of the ruling party or government.
The Postbank comes at a critical time for the Post Office and at the advent of technology that impacts negatively on the traditional delivery model of postal services. However, we should commend the Post Office for viewing the influence of technology in the context of the revitalisation of its services and the provision of innovative and affordable banking solutions to poor communities who cannot afford to open a bank account and therefore cannot put aside some savings for the future of their families.
In conclusion, the co-operation of the Postbank will offer real long-term financial benefits and solutions. I must also thank the portfolio committee, the Department of Communications, the legal services, the state law advisors and everyone who has been involved in these amendments, in particular the SA Reserve Bank, who ensured that indeed we do comply with the Banks Act. Deputy Speaker, I commend this Bill to the House. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.