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Sunday, December 11, 2016

UPU, South Africa discuss regional e-commerce hub

02.12.2016 - The Universal Postal Union and the South African government have agreed to work together to establish an electronic commerce hub to serve the Southern region of Africa.

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein meets with South African Minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr. Siyabonga Cwele.

At a meeting between UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein and South Africa’s Minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr. Siyabonga Cwele, it was agreed that UPU will offer technical advice and expertise to the country to establish the facility, which will serve the region and beyond. 

The project is part of the implementation of the establishment of e-commerce as the foremost focus for the Post during the 2017-2020 cycle as mandated by the 26th Congress. The project will see the country establish a central parcel and goods hub that will include a warehouse, sorting and dispatch centre, as well as customs facilitation. The hub will use the South African Post Office (SAPO) network to deliver within the country and abroad. 

“We have identified South Africa to establish this facility due to its strategic location, as well as having the busiest international airport and deep seaport in the continent of Africa. South Africa, too, has one of the highest uptakes of internet and mobile telecommunication infrastructure, which are key to the development of e-commerce,” said Hussein. 

Dr. Cwele thanked the UPU for choosing South Africa for this project, which he said, “falls in line with our policy  for modernization of the South Africa Post”. He said implementation of the project will be given priority.


Speaking during a working session between the South African government and the UPU, South African Director General for Telecommunications and Postal Services Robert Nkuna said the meeting was aimed at ensuring that the country emerges with a clear roadmap of how it will work with the UPU to extract the most value from the increasing global trade driven by e-commerce activity. 

“The postal services sector is very important in the successful implementation of the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper. It is not a stand-alone policy. It is part of the comprehensive policy overhaul to modernise the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector for the inclusion of all citizens. We are aligned to what the UPU is doing and have referred to it in finalising the White Paper,” said Nkuna. 

Also present at the working meeting were SAPO Chairperson Dr. Simo Lushaba and SAPO CEO Mark Barnes. 

The UPU Director General was guided on a tour of e-commerce facilities in Johannesburg and Durban.

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