Post offices on a spring-clean buzz

A post box prior to receiving a fresh coat of paint.

The Fish Hoek post office joined other branches all over South Africa on a spring-clean day on Wednesday August 31.

The external clean-up is part of an over-haul of the internal services.

Post office area manager, Clive du Plessis, says: “The clean and fresh branches will enable customers to see and experience the new and revitalised post office for themselves.”

Post office branches nationally used the spring-clean day to celebrate recent improvements at the parastatal and employees from nearby administrative offices volunteered to help clean the Fish Hoek branch.

The SA Reserve Bank has approved a first-level application for Postbank to receive a banking licence. The next and final level should be completed within 12 months, according to the legislative requirement.

The next key steps, Mr Du Plessis says, include approval of the Postbank board nominees, the registration of Postbank as a company with its own governance structures, formalisation of the relationship between the SA Post Office and Postbank and transfer of business from the SA Post Office to the new company.

“The SA Post Office has 1 500 fully-fledged branches countrywide and each post office offers all Postbank services. That makes it possible for the bank to serve rural and remote areas of South Africa better than any other financial institution,” he says.

The SA Post Office’s service levels and income were severely harmed by labour unrest and strikes in recent years.

Mr Du Plessis says that the second achievement that warranted some celebration was the signing of a joint agreement with the recognised trade unions to settle wages and conditions of employment – from 2014 to the period ending 2016/2017.

“This agreement brings to finality all historical labour issues and brings a new era of stability to the SA Post Office,” he says.

The third milestone – which led to the spring-clean day – was the conclusion of an agreement with financial institutions which gives the SA Post Office the capital it needs to pay debts.

Mr Du Plessis says that the SA Post Office is expanding its services to include offerings such as registered email, which has the same legal validity as paper-based registered mail.

“It will also soon launch more services to make the postal service more suitable as a partner to e-commerce companies.

“One such service will be a smartphone app which customers can use to check where their parcel is in the mail delivery system.”