EDITORIAL: Start with an atlas Stella...
There are a lot of moving parts in Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams’s world, not to mention a lot of cities involved — be it New York, Geneva or Paris
Things certainly seem to be unravelling for the commander-in-chief of the fourth industrial revolution, whose portfolio includes, incongruously, as old-fashioned a relic as the Post Office.
There are a lot of moving parts in Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams’s world, not to mention a lot of cities involved — be it New York, Geneva or Paris.
But besides a good atlas, what seems to be missing from the communication minister’s plan is a coherent strategy shared by everyone else in the communications sector — not least the mobile operators which, you’d think, should be at the vanguard of this battle, armed as they are with spectrum and 5G.
Mind you, the Post Office under Mark Barnes and until recently, acting CEO Lindiwe Kwele, once had an ambitious vision of its own, marrying its infrastructure with technology to make it a key player in e-commerce and financial services. Only, Barnes and Kwele have left — which can be directly traced to Ndabeni-Abrahams’s chaotic management.
More disquieting than her geographical knowledge, however, are reports of board interference at the Post Office and Postbank. It’s an indication that Ndabeni-Abrahams has failed to grasp the urgency of her critical role. While she remains in her post, it becomes increasingly likely that SA will remain an analogue anachronism in a digital world.