The department of telecommunications & postal services has met with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to discuss ways to modernise the postal network to benefit from e-commerce.
The meeting between department director-general Robert Nkuna and UPU director-general Bishar Hussein was aimed at ensuring that the country emerges with a clear roadmap of how it will work with the UPU to extract the most value from the increasing global trade that is driven by e-commerce activity.
“The postal services sector is very important in the successful implementation of the national integrated ICT policy white Paper… We are aligned to what the UPU is doing and have referred to it in finalising the white paper,” said Nkuna of the meeting held in Pretoria.
Meanwhile, Hussein said one of the envisaged outcomes of his visit was to implement a postal network hub for Southern Africa in South Africa, following the approval of UPU strategy that focuses on e-commerce, financial inclusion and postal reform.
“Africa is not well represented in the current global e-commerce map. The continent has a billion people who are mostly young and tech savvy. They represent an exciting market. Global postal hubs are an idea whose time has come, only if they get off the ground,” said Hussein.
He said the UPU postal strategy was presented and accepted by all the seven regions of the UPU and now the focus was on finalising delivery mechanisms.
The UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.
The UPU shared a proposal on setting up a regional hub in South Africa. Hussein said they identified countries that have good telecommunications infrastructure and sea and air entry points.
He added that South Africa was chosen as a starting country in the region and other countries are welcome to set up their own hubs.
Post Office chairman Simo Lushaba said the UPU proposal was aligned to the turnaround of the post office.
“The proposal gives us mechanisms to implement our turnaround. It also enables small and medium companies to be global players,” said Lushaba.
Post Office CEO Mark Barnes said the company is already seeing an increase on its international mail business with volumes being 20% up compared to last year. — SAnews