The South African Post Office (Sapo) has been under a lot of pressure over the last couple of month to get its act together, and it seems like newly-appointed CEO Mark Barnes has a plan to make that happen.

Speaking to The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield, Barnes said that Sapo needs to be made relevant for today’s society.

“You can’t fix an outdated organisation by just making it smaller and remaining outdated. You have to change it and you have to make it relevant to the current circumstances,” he said.

Barnes replaces current CEO Christopher Hlekane, and said that Sapo is well-placed to fill a gap.

“What I put to the government was, that we can engage with commerce and commercial opportunities in what must be described as one of the best placed infrastructure, logistics, financial service providers potentially in the country – and let’s call that the Post Office – which is what it is.”

He added that Sapo needs to expand into other services, as the current model isn’t in line with world trends.

“If you look at the models around the world, Sapo is now 70% dependent for its revenue on mail. Well, that is not true for the rest of the world, as most of them are down to around 30%. They do things like financial services, insurance products, logistics and other sorts of new age ecommerce forming the economic centre for their strategy going forward. And I think we can do that here. Why not?”

Sapo has also had a number of economic issues, but Barnes, naturally, has a plan to prevent it from happening again.

“We need to make this thing work, and my strategy is founded on not being forever dependent on government, and a post office that can fund itself going forward. It should be a place where people across all qualifications would want to come to work. I’m a businessman and a South African, and I’m looking forward to being of service.”

[Image – CC by 2.0/Theen Moy]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.