The department of telecommunications & postal services will have its budget slashed over coming years, following a one-off allocation of R3.7bn to recapitalise the SA Post Office (Sapo). The department’s annual budget more than doubled in 2017/2018 because of the Sapo injection, going from R2.1bn in 2016/2017 to R5.2bn in 2017/2018. However, the budget has been cut to R923m in 2018/2019. This is expected to rise to R1.1bn in 2020/2021. Budgets were cut for broadband projects and others related to the migration to digital broadcasting, according to documents. "Cabinet approved budget reductions over the medium term of R1.7bn to the SA Connect broadband project, and R764m to the Universal Service & Access Fund for the broadcasting digital migration project," said one. Sapo’s equity injection was necessary to keep it afloat, according to CEO Mark Barnes and the auditor-general. Craig Pheiffer, chief investment strategist at Absa Stockbrokers & Portfolio Management, says Sapo is conside...

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