Minister to appoint new Post Office board, which is currently chaired by a Zuma loyalist

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will announce a new board for the SA Post Office this month.

Most of the board members were appointed in 2015, and their terms were extended after expiring at the end of August. Ndabeni-Abrahams has elected not to extend these terms further, a spokesperson told Fin24.

The minister has advertised for new directors. “The appointments are expected to be concluded by end of October and in the interim, the Executive is responsible for the day-to-day operations, with the department providing oversight,” said spokesperson Nthabeleng Mokitimi-Dlamini.

The acting chair of the SAPO board is attorney Zibuse Comfort Ngidi. News24 previously reported that Ngidi is a Zuma loyalist who led a group of "concerned" KwaZulu-Natal lawyers on a campaign to discredit former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report.

Last year, Ngidi applied to be considered for a role in the Zondo commission, but in the end withdrew his application.

Other board members whose terms have not been extended include MTN director Dawn Marole;  Mduduzi Eric Zakwe, CEO of the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority; and businessman Zolani Kgosie Matthews, grandson of ANC stalwart ZK Matthews.

The embattled institution is also still looking for a new CEO after Mark Barnes resigned in August.  He quit over "differences on the future strategy relating to the structure of the SA Post Office group and in particular the location of Postbank”.

Earlier in September, Ndabeni-Abrahams said government was considering different options for the bank, such as "reopening the conversation of whether the Postbank shareholder will be Communications or National Treasury".

The Post Office, which took over the distribution of social grants to 11 million people from Cash Paymaster Services, received R2.9bn from government this year to "extinguish" its entire debt and to ensure continued operations. 

Advertisements for new directors emphasised expertise in areas like cyber security, digital transformation, logistics and courier services, retail (“with a demonstrable successful track record of strategic retail leadership in rural and peri-urban areas”), as well as public sector finance “including the National Development Plan”.

The minister, meanwhile, will also appoint a new board for the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa), which runs e-skills initiatives in the country.