Technology chokes postal services

Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) says the levels of social mail keep declining by three percent annually, due to advances in information and communication technology (ICT) a development which is affecting revenue base.

MPC board chairperson Reverend Masauko Mbolembole said this in an interview on Tuesday after a meeting with Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa at MPC headquarters in Blantyre.

Mussa (L) accompanied by the ministry’s PS Erica Maganga gets a briefing by postmaster general Henry Shamu

Mbolembole attributed the decline to the advancement in technological trends and further said that as a result of the decline, the corporation loses an average of between K300 million to K400 million in potential annually.

He, however, allayed fears that the operations of the corporation might come to a halt as a result of the decline, stressing that the corporation has been diversifying services and in turn broadening its revenue base hence making strides in terms of business.

Said Mbolembole: “The coming in of technology has been a wake-up call to us. We have tried our best to make sure that we survive so we have broadened our revenue streams to such an effect that we are trading on a very good ground in terms of business like our courier services.

“We have looked at other areas where we can do business and we are looking at procuring buses in the near future whereby we will be able to get revenue from passenger tickets, and again, those buses will provide an assurance of a timely delivery of mail.”

He further said despite the decline, a majority of the corporate organisations still have their male volumes static except for the person-to-person mail.

But in a separate interview, Mussa said MPC continues to play a key role in delivery of social services, emphasising that some of the services being offered cannot be easily replaced by digital services.

“There are some services that are a must that cannot go digital, for example, the movement of mail to rural communities where the levels of managing or understanding the internet and use of digital gadgets is very minimal.

“There is some government correspondence that must be on piece of paper for austerity records, that cannot be digital even from the private sector,” he said.

During the meeting, officials from MPC briefed the minister on the challenges the corporation has been facing among other issues which its major one was the issue of emerging technologies.

The officials outlined how they are addressing the challenges and what needs to be done in turn to keep the corporation afloat.

One official said the decline is a global phenomenon affecting post offices, especially in relation to the social mail. The official said business mail volumes remain intact.

Earlier, Mussa also visited Multichoice Malawi offices to appreciate some of the services being offered and the challenges being encountered.

Share This Post