The gradual decline in business mail is now forcing national postal service operators around the world to redefine themselves in the communications service provisioning, outgoing Transport and Communications Minister Nonofo Molefhi said last Thursday.
During the World Post Day commemorations and official launch of Posocard at Sebina, Molefhi lamented that mail delivery is no longer a good revenue stream for Botswana Post.
“The changing of the communications landscape whereby other players have entered the market to provide value added services like courier and the transport sector also running courier-like services has seen the Botswana Post meeting very stiff competition,” he lamented.
Involvement of other players in the communications industry has resulted in volume of mail declining substantially hence the need for Botswana Post to claim its position in the changing communications landscape, he said.
According to Molefhi, the advent of mobile phones, internet and the phones’ ability to send text messages (SMS) at the click of a button as well as the accessibility of social media, calls for Botswana Post to redefine its operations.
Government will continue supporting the transformation the organisation and retooling the postal sector to provide innovative products and services to the market, said the minister.
Molefhi said the modern day Botswana Post office now provides various communication services amongst them internet connectivity, fax and desktop services such as all sorts of secretarial services in the form of typing.
Botswana Post adopted the Icon of Excellence Strategy in 2011 with a view to unlock value from its assets and turn its fortunes around to become a P500 million revenue company with an operating cost that is very low.
The strategy is transforming Botswana Post, said Molefhi.
For his part, the Botswana Post Board chairperson Polokoetsile Motau said change is part of life and the communication industry has not been spared.
He said there has been a swift transformation of the industry over the past couple of years accelerated by the growth in mobile telephony which is increasingly accessible to the ordinary citizen.
“Mobile technologies such as email and internet services offered through cellular phones have led to the decline of traditional mail volumes,” revealed Motau. But Motau bravely said that Botswana Post will not fold its hands and watch from a distant.
“As we continue on our journey to excellence, we have committed ourselves to finding ways of fitting in the ever evolving market and claim our (rightful) in the changing communications landscape,” said Motau confidently.
Motau said they have realised the need to embrace technology and transition from being a traditional post office to a service provider of choice by leveraging on technology and strategic partnerships in order to deliver first class services to Batswana nationwide.