The board of Botswana Post and Savings Group Limited, the holding company for the proposed bundling of government postal, banking and courier services has been established, a move which will pave the way for the merger which will act as a bellwether for government’s ill-fated rationalization exercise.
Rationalization comes at a time when government wants to limit paying subventions to parastatals and the merger of Botswana Savings Bank (BSB), BotswanaPost and its subsidiary Botswana Couriers is one way of achieving that. Botswana Couriers, a subsidiary of BotswanaPost will also be registered as a subsidiary of the holding company.
“I can confirm that the board of the holding company has been appointed,” Chief Executive Officer of BotswanaPost, Pele Moleta told a media briefing. “For us it provides exciting opportunities,” he added, saying already they have started working with BSB at Railpark mall.
“The mandate is to integrate the services of the three companies to get the signage that we intended in terms of the merger to build a better base for the future. It provides exciting opportunities for us”.
The board is led by Puma Matlhware and the board chairs are filled by Rutang Moses, Shirley Segokgo, Juliana White and Othusitse Lebuletswe. The board room chairs are also filled by Baitshepi Tebogo, Mmoloki Tibe and Sherman Selepe.
BotswanaPost also confirmed the resignation of its Board Chairman, Martin Makgatlhe on 31st March this year. However, Moleta did not reveal the details of the resignation of Makgatlhe from the board.
The holding company will function like Debswana, which has three major mines, but has one Managing Director. It is said the new holding company will share Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Human Resource Manager.
Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said in February progress has been made in merging some parastatals adding that the process to merge Botswana Postal Services and Botswana Savings Bank, for example, was scheduled to be concluded by March 2014.
“This follows the passing by Parliament in December 2013 of the Botswana Postal Service Amendment Bill and approval by Cabinet of a Holding Company, the Botswana Post and Savings Group Limited, under which the merger will operate,” he said.
“Parliament also passed the National Development Bank Transition Bill in December 2013 to facilitate privatization of the National Development Bank as part of increasing its efficiency and promoting citizen economic empowerment.”
The merger follows a government decision to rationalize some parastatals and public entities. The merger was also instituted after though public consultations coordinated by Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatization Agency (PEEPA) and the exercise commenced in the fiscal year 2009/10 and it is expected to conclude in the fiscal year 2014/15.
Botswana Post confirmed that the merger has progressed relatively slowly due to the need to prepare enabling pieces of legislation and taking them through the approval process.
The approval process included the amendment of the Botswana Postal Services Act, Transition Acts of both the merging organizations as well as promulgation of the Botswana Telecommunications Authority Act. Government has also confirmed that they have been signed into law with the exception of the Botswana Postal Services Transition Bill which was recently passed by Parliament.