Barnes: SA Post Office could be fully functional member of economic society

SA Post Office CEO Mark Barnes says he’s had to change the way staff think about the parastatal, to start thinking like a business and not a government department.

FILE: The Benmore Gardens post office in Johannesburg. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

PRETORIA – South African Post Office (Sapo) Chief Executive Mark Barnes believes the parastatal could be fully functional members of the South African economy, with government as the main shareholder.

Barnes was speaking at a National Press Club briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday where he discussed the relevance of the post office to government and business.

Barnes says he’s had to change the way staff think about the parastatal, to start thinking like a business and not a government department.

“The reason we had to do that is because we’re not a protected industry. If you’re a utility, with no alternative, then you can decide how far you want to run. But we’re no longer that. We were once upon a time."

He says the parastatal has had to think beyond simply delivering mail.

"And what we could be is not just a better post office, we could be a fully-functional integrated member of the economic society that has government as our stakeholder."

Barnes says they will obtain a banking licence in the next few months.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)