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Postbank says it's ready to help SASSA pay social grants

MAY 25, 2017
Postbank says it's ready to help SASSA pay social grants

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister, Siyabonga Cwele, says the South African Post Office (SAPO) is ready to use Postbank to help the South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) to take over the payment of social grants, as directed by the Constitutional Court.

Minister Cwele said this in a media briefing on the department’s Budget Vote in Cape Town on Wednesday. He said the corporatisation of Postbank is one of government’s vehicles to widen access to financial services in the country’s underserved areas.

“This process is progressing well,” said Minister Cwele.

He said some of the key successes include the appointment of the first Postbank board in March after a rigorous, fit and proper assessment. In April, the South African Postbank SOC Ltd Company was registered and incorporated with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Minister Cwele said most of the information technology capabilities have already been implemented, and that key appointments in internal audit, regulatory and risk management positions have been made.

“Our efforts are now concentrated in resolving the structure of the Bank Controlling Company as well as resolution of the legislative conflicts around the definition of a public company by aligning the Banks Act to the Companies Act,” said the Minister.

National Integrated ICT Policy

In September last year, Cabinet approved the National Integrated ICT Policy and the department has since then held several engagements with stakeholders on the implementation of the policy.

“There is general agreement with the thrust of the policy and the need to implement it without delay. Most discussions focus on how best we implement Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) and the allocation of and the return of the high demand spectrum,” said the Minister.

Following the last meeting that the department held with stakeholders last week, an agreement was reached that there may be no urgency to return the current high demand spectrum from licensees until the end of the current licence period to ensure investment certainty. In return, the licensees committed to buy at least 30% of the existing capacity of WOAN to ensure its viability.

In view of the current levels of investment on the 4G network, the Minister committed to conduct an urgent high level study to determine if WOAN will utilise all high demand spectrum for 4G network.

“If there will be remaining spectrum, it will be licenced to operators with rural coverage obligations. In such case, the licensees further committed to buy at least 50% of WOAN capacity.

“It is important to realise that without WOAN, the new entrants, particularly black entrepreneurs and SMMEs, will find it impossible to enter this industry. In the next few months, we intend to finalise the implementation plan,” said the Minister.

Cybersecurity  

With regards to cybersecurity, Minister Cwele said his department continues to use its partnerships with the relevant stakeholders to improve security.

“An initial upgrade to the Cybersecurity Hub’s website was concluded in the last financial year, which included the ability for the public to report incidents and the provision of awareness information. 

“The Cybersecurity Hub is continuously monitoring cyber threats, including the recent cyberattack,” said Minister Cwele. - SAnews.gov.za