R4-million salary for SA Post Office exec who can’t even keep a website online

Many South Africans have expressed outrage at Sars chief officer for digital and IT, Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane, earning over R3 million a year.

The anger comes after Makhekhe-Mokhuane made headlines following her appearance in an SABC TV interview.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane was on SABC News for an interview about Sars’ IT systems, but spoke about Sars bursaries for students and the outsourcing of cleaning employees.

She also asked the SABC News presenter interviewing her for “protection from yourself” after being requested to stay on the topic at hand.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane subsequently apologised for her actions, but readers stated that she appears incompetent and unfit to hold such a key position at Sars – let alone receive such a big pay cheque.

Forget Sars – SAPO is worse

While anger towards Sars and its IT head is fresh, let us not forget the even bigger mess that is the SA Post Office (SAPO).

SAPO, another entity that is directed by the government, has been plagued by problems over the past year, and many South Africans have given up hope that any sort of working organisation can rise from the current structure.

Besides its R908 million loss for the year ended 31 March 2018, the organisation cannot complete its core functions like delivering letters and parcels, and keeping its website online.

Tests by MyBroadband showed that the Post Office failed to deliver letters – and the ones that were delivered took up to a month to reach their destination.

MyBroadband forum members also constantly complain that deliveries through the Post Office take months to reach their destination – if at all.

Even more concerning was the extended website downtime for SAPO in 2018, where its website, email servers, and tracking systems were offline for several days at a time.

MyBroadband also found that payment for the postoffice.co.za domain had not been made this year.

Big salaries

These failures have taken place despite high-paid executives working for the Post Office.

Making matters worse is that the SA Post Office CEO Mark Barnes said in 2017 that ecommerce was one of the promising new revenue streams for the organisation.

For ecommerce to work, however, reliable website, tracking, and delivery systems are needed.

SAPO’s annual report for 2018 sports a long list of high-paid executives, none of whom seem able to get the basic systems right at the organisation.

While Sars’ IT head does not inspire confidence, at least the e-filing system still works for many, and they get their tax refunds each year.

The Post Office, though, is failing to fulfill many of its basic obligations – and continues to drain the country’s fiscus.

The table below shows the salaries of select SAPO executives from the 2018 annual report – with Barnes’ R4.2-million salary headlining the list.

SAPO Salaries
M Barnes – CEO R4.2 million
LO Kwele – COO R2.6 million
DMM Mncwabe – CIO (Former) R2.1 million

It must be noted that on the day of writing this article, the SAPO website was down when visited.

This is an opinion piece.

Now read: Sars IT head – There is no excuse

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R4-million salary for SA Post Office exec who can’t even keep a website online