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The SA Post Office hosts SADC ecommerce forum

SAPO hosted its colleagues from the SADC (Southern African Development Community) on 9-13 March in Johannesburg to discuss the centralization of incoming ecommerce in the Region. It also launched its new ecommerce platform aimed at attracting ecommerce SME startups. Non-government ecommerce stakeholders were not invited to the event. The EFSA has made it clear to government that SAPO must take action to improve its services if it is to gain the trust of the ecommerce sector, and has provided government with a non-exhaustive list of actions SAPO has to take to start down the road to gaining trust. SAPO, on the other hand, points out that it sorts over 800,000 ecommerce-related pieces of mail per year and therefore has no need of advice on gaining trust. Ms Colleen Makhubele, SAPO’s CEO has stated that the parastatal has been losing money for the past decade, and is expected to lose R1 billion this financial year. The ecommerce platform is one of the revenue-generating areas identified by the organisation. Under the Universal Postal Union’s plans, there will be 4 hubs in Africa – Egypt will be the northern hub of Africa, Kenya the east African hub, Ghana the west African hub.

Meanwhile, there are plans to launch a new online marketplace to help small to medium enterprises (SMMEs) access the rapidly growing digital retail sector in Africa in March 2020. The marketplace is the result of a joint venture between South African online retail platform, integrated digital services agency Volt.Africa and ICT investment company Ayo Technology Solutions (AYO).

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Alastair Tempest

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