Hon House Chair, the Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication undertook an oversight visit to the South African Post Office, Sapo, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa as well as Broadband Infrastructure Company, BBI, from 21 to the 25 of October 2019, and wish to report as follows:
Following our adoption of the committee's strategic plan, which formed the basis of the committee's annual performance plan, where we identified the state-owned companies that we wished to visit. We then as a committee identified the three state-owned entities that we said we are going to visit. Hon House Chairperson, you will recall that the South African Post Office was confronted with a quite a number of challenges in the past five years ranging from cash flow shortages, labour disputes, late payment of suppliers, as
well as issues relating to senior managers in acting positions. During our last visit we were refreshed to realise that the post office is moving into the right direction.
We visited the post office however; we identified other areas where we think that there are still some challenges that need to be looked at. Some of the observations that we did, hon members have got the reports. We have made Announcements, Tablings and Committee, ATCed the reports and I will not go through the whole report. Some of the observations that we have done as a committee as a committee during our oversight is that, in terms of Sapo is concerned the Icasa is not adequately monitoring and ensuring that 1kg parcel couriers are observed by the post office competitors, logistic courier business in terms of the law.
The 1kg couriers are reserved for Sapo in terms of the law. So, Icasa is also not assisting us in that regard. That is one observation that we did. Another observation that we did is that most of the facilities of the Sapo are not accessible to people with disabilities. You will remember that Sapo is also dealing with the issue of grants now and that would mean that elderly people will not be able to access our post offices. So those are some of the observations that we did. After those observations we went to the
Icasa, BBI and after that the committee made the following recommendations:
The Minister should ensure that there is co-ordination among relevant state- owned companies to resolve any discrepancies such as the one identified in the post office. That is where Icasa is supposed to monitor Sapo competitors I terms of handling of the 1kg reserved parcels for Sapo. The Minister should ensure that all Sapo branches are made to be accessible to people with disabilities and elderly people so that they are more comfortable when accessing the grants through the post office.
The other recommendation that we put forward to the council is that we need to resolve the problem of state-owned entities and make sure that Minister should ensure that the proposed merger between Sentec and Broadband Infraco is also facilitated in a manner that would not impose financial risk to us looking at the challenges that we are facing. We submit the report, House Chairperson.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
In favour: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The Council adjourned at 16:04. -----------------------