In a virtual meeting, the Select Committee met to adopt the South African Postbank Ltd Amendment Bill which addresses the need to discard the SA Post Office (SAPO) as the controlling company over the Postbank. The amendment deals with establishing a bank controlling company (BCC), which will have the controlling powers over the Postbank, instead of the current arrangement.
The meeting was advised that the Bill was a section 75 piece of legislation that did not affect the provinces, because the delegates were not required to retrieve mandates from their respective provinces.
The Department had resolved to amend this Bill due to the current financial situation of the South African Post Office (SAPO), which was under provisional liquidation. Other alternatives in designating appropriate shareholders of the Postbank and ensuring the registration of the bank-controlling company, had also been considered.
The Committee adopted the amendment of the Bill.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the meeting and said that the purpose of the meeting was to investigate the issue of the Postbank.
The Committee Secretary gave an apology for Mr J Nyambi (ANC, Mpumalanga).
The Chairperson said the meeting was focused on adopting the South African Postbank Ltd Amendment Bill (B12-2022). This Bill was section 75, which was not affecting the provinces because the provincial delegates were not required to retrieve mandates from their respective provinces. There was an earlier deliberation of the Bill, which addressed the need to discard the SA Post Office (SAPO) as the controlling company over the Postbank. The amendment deals with establishing a bank controlling company (BCC), which will have the controlling powers over the Postbank, instead of the current arrangement involving the Post Office.
The Department had previously made a detailed presentation, and it had become part of the report and minutes. This Bill had also been served at the National Assembly, and had now appeared in the Committee for its adoption.
The Chairperson allowed the Department to provide a summary of the Bill before calling for its adoption.
Ms Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani, Acting Director0General (DG), Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), apologised for the absence of the Minister and Deputy Minister. The Minister was in a Cabinet meeting, and the Deputy Minister was on official duty outside the country to represent South Africa at a global regulatory meeting.
She said the importance of this Bill was of great magnitude. The Department had resolved to amend this Bill due to the current financial situation of SAPO, which was initially the sole owner and shareholder of the Postbank, but was now under provisional liquidation. Even before this, the Department had been exploring other alternatives as far as designating appropriate shareholders of the Postbank, and ensuring the registration of the bank-controlling company. The Bank Act prescribes that the shareholder needs to be fit and proper to meet the requirements, which the Post Office does not meet. The Bill would ensure a separation of the Postbank from SAPO, and would designate a fully-fledged bank for this role. The Department would also pursue licensing and corporatisation through the SA Reserve Bank.
Ms Jordan-Dyani noted the resounding public support from labour and business, and the SMSs that the Department had received during the Bill's amendment. Other critical stakeholders in government who were consulted shared their concerns about the number of citizens who remained unbanked. In addition, the Bill would increase financial inclusion towards ensuring wider public participation in the economy.
The Chairperson asked for the adoption of the Bill by the Committee.
Ms L Bebee (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) and Ms W Ngwenya (ANC, Gauteng) moved for adoption.
The amendment Bill was passed and adopted by the Committee.
The Chairperson appreciated all the Members' and Department’s participation in the amendment process.
The meeting was adjourned.
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