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Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

I read with some bemusement, and not a little sadness, the parliamentary notice (published in the latest Sunday Times) inviting comment on the proposed Postbank Amendment Bill, which provides for the transfer in shareholding of Postbank from the SA Post Office to government (on terms not disclosed in that notice).

It is in protest against this very proposal that I resigned as group CEO of the Post Office almost exactly three years ago to the deadline for written submissions. I set out then the reasons for the nonsense of the proposed separation of Postbank from the Post Office.

There is ample international precedent and economic logic to suggest that an integrated model for the modern-era post office (with the benefits of economies of scale, efficient central technology, access to the national payment system and a commercially irreplaceable footprint) is a superior construct for a multipurpose organ of state, and that the separation is flawed and without merit.

I can only hope that the day will come in SA when business logic prevails over political agendas in matters of capital allocation and executive skill deployment, for both commercial and developmental enterprises, preferably in public-private-partnership structures where that may be most appropriate for sustainability and competitive resilience.

I rest my case now given the evidence, as I expect it will continue to unfold before us.

Mark Barnes
Via email

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