The merger exercise between the Botswana Postal Services (BPS) and the Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) is said to be progressing slowly due to the slow process of producing requisite legislations and taking them through the approval process.
The Director of Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Onalenna Sechele, recently briefed the ICT Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that the process required the Amendment of Botswana Postal Services Act, Amendment of Botswana Savings Bank Act and Review of the Telecommunications Act.
Sechele also revealed that the government has engaged a private legal consultant to do the registration of the Holding Company. She added that the consultant has produced draft constitutions for the holding company and its subsidiaries. She pointed out that the Ministry of Transport and Communication is still consulting on the proposed names of the holding company and the three names suggested include Botswana Postal Savings Group, Postal Savings Group and also Postal Holding Group.
“The Ministry is in the process of issuing drafting instructions to Attorney General for the drafting of the Botswana Postal Services Transition Bill. The Transition Bill allows BPS to be converted into a public company,” said Sechele.
She also pointed out that Parliament, in its last sitting, approved the Botswana Postal Services Amendment Bill, 2011, which converts Botswana Postal Services from being a Commercial Organization of Government to a Body Corporate. She said the other Bill is the Botswana Savings Bank Transition Bill, 2011, which allows the bank to continue with its operations while the process of converting it into a company is ongoing.
Sechele added that internal stakeholders, comprising of the Board members, staff union executives and general staff have been briefed.
“There is also a continuous briefing of the staff through their union executives and their executive management who sit in the structures responsible for implementing the merger of the two institutions,” she said.
BSB-BPS merger follows government decision to rationalize some parastatals and public entities. The merger exercise report identified over-lapping and duplication of operational mandates, clientele bases and programmes, leading to inefficiencies.
BPS CEO Pele Moleta pointed out that the implication of the merger has realized cost savings in staff emoluments and provision of shared services by the holding company as well as effective use of resources, efficient service delivery and optimization of technology.
Moleta revealed that BPS will provide fully fledged banking services through its wide national network and added that the Post will fully optimize its three dimensions of physical, financial and electronic.
“We have a long standing relationship between Botswana Savings Bank and the rationale for the merger eestablished and widely dispersed postal networks has capacity to deliver financial services,” said Moleta.
Responding to the Parliamentary Committee on ICT question, BPS CEO pointed out the merger business model shared services will include human resources, transport and Information Technology.
“The three entities are not driving from their mandate and will each have its own Board of Directors as Banking and Financial Service, Postal Service and also Courier Service,” said Moleta.
BSB-BPS merger exercise commenced in the fiscal year 2009/10 and its expectation for the merger to conclude is in the fiscal year 2013/14.