Post Office bungles R107m project

2011-08-14 16:34

Johannesburg - The South African Post Office (Sapo) is continuing to pour millions of rand into a new retail system despite clear evidence that the project is not financially viable, according to a confidential report.

The document, which was tabled in March but which has been kept out of the public eye, illustrates how the R107m project, WebRiposte, has resulted in staff having to pay in money for cash shortages resulting from the new dysfunctional system.

The report says the project:

» Is susceptible to fraud;

» Has software glitches;

» Has overrun the budget by R80m; and

» Should be discontinued.

The WebRiposte system was launched in 2004 to replace the old PostLink, a point-of-sale system used at retail branches of the parastatal to expedite consumer service.

The new system has instead performed worse than the old one. WebRiposte has resulted in several faults linked to cash and cheque management at some branches.

“The system for no given reason will duplicate the transaction with the same date, time and values,” says the report, adding that the problem can neither be fixed nor can the root cause be identified.

“This unfortunately negatively impacts on employee morale as Sapo requires that employees pay in money for cash shortages.

“If the current trend continues, employees will be paying several hundred rands for system errors because the cash management function is not working correctly.”

When the mailing and banking parastatal launched WebRiposte, Sapo had budgeted R110m for the project. The goal was to roll out the system at 1 567 branches across the country.

However, Sapo has spent R107m on the project and only managed to roll out WebRiposte at seven outlets in seven years.

Sapo also took the decision to inject an additional R80m into the project and extend the deadline from 2007 to 2012.

- City Press

  • Jamie - 2011-08-14 17:00

    I didn't realize JM can programme - talented fellow.

      Nuck Choris - 2011-08-15 11:36

      It could also bee that the problem is the bee fellow country man of JM who are the users of this software. You know the bad workman blames... .......

  • letsee - 2011-08-14 17:00

    The project was devised and recommended by incompetence but somebody is making money and the projec must finish not to create unemployment. By the way Julius Malema has no links to this project.

  • Umfubi - 2011-08-14 17:19

    This is a mighty garbled story which makes hardly any sense at all.

      StopThePigs - 2011-08-15 09:35

      Seems that the Bantu Education has failed you then...

  • OZNOB - 2011-08-14 17:21


  • steve.dupreez - 2011-08-14 17:59

    Was this also installed by the Gijima scamsters??

  • Konsoomer - 2011-08-14 18:29

    Here we go again,again and again ...............

      Met - 2011-08-14 18:47

      A prelude to what is coming with the Health Concoction

      Hetrohero - 2011-08-15 05:07

      The power of 1 man, 1 vote. Power to the masses who can draw a cross on a piece of paper.

  • Jack Daniels - 2011-08-14 18:34

    wonder who owns the company that supplied the software ....

      lenyora - 2011-08-14 20:03

      a company in New Zealand was commissioned to write the software.

      Andre - 2011-08-14 22:33

      The previous system (which still runs in all the Post Offices, except 7) was written in New Zealand. The new software is WebRiposte and was supposed to be implemented by African Legends (and others.)

      lenyora - 2011-08-15 00:28

      Postlink = New Zealand, WebRiposte = Singapore

      UnionJack - 2011-08-15 08:38

      All is revealed at

  • RFreeThinker - 2011-08-14 18:45

    Post office should only be about collecting and sending mail. You wait long in line to collect a parcel or a letter because people use the post office as a bank or a place to pay their bills. That's just plain wrong.

      lenyora - 2011-08-15 00:32

      ... In this day and age of email and secure pdf files how do you expect the PO to remain profitable and sustain itself? other revenue streams are needed.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-14 20:15

    let me see,which comrade had the contract on this? Is it not the same millionaire that gave stuff to the cops last week? Wonder what the ANC's cut was? Load the pockets comrades!

  • SM - 2011-08-14 21:46

    I am shocked! Can it be that the post office can be any worse than it already is, luckily I know a guy with baby pigeons, by the time I train them to deliver my post the post office should have figured out this system won’t be viable and will set money aside for another tenderpreneur to sell them the latest super software system. UBUNTU!

  • So What? - 2011-08-14 22:06

    African Legend Technologies has been selected to deploy WebRiposte Essential on behalf of the post office throughout 3,000 branches nationwide. African Legend Technologies is an information and communication technology solutions provider specializing in the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of end-to-end technology systems. The company is based in Sandton, Johannesburg and employs approximately 200 people. "After a thorough evaluation, we selected WebRiposte Essential for its operational reliability, security, and ease of deployment," said Mr. Ntsundeni Madzunya, Chief Information Officer, SAPO. "In addition, it has a proven track record of success within the postal community and that is extremely important to us."

      Paul - 2011-08-15 10:13

      Obviously you work for them. Your advertising blurb doesnt alter the fact that it just isn't working. If they couldnt roll out country wide in the given time and budget then there is a problem. Hope the staff that end up paying in money due to system errors manage to get it back one day.

  • Ederik - 2011-08-14 22:25

    Good example of how a state controlled business function. Are they not kind of nationalized?

  • Andre - 2011-08-14 22:26

    The same system work in Namibia and many other places in the world. The problem is not the system - the problem is politics in the organisation...

      Michael - 2011-08-16 10:57

      Too true and elastic budgets

  • Hetrohero - 2011-08-15 03:35

    Its called money laundering. Dummies. Kickbacks. You know all that good stuff. All you have to do is look at who the vendors were.

      Tonsil - 2011-08-15 08:05

      You are so right. There is no thought of inplementing the system or improving things. It is all about money in the back pocket of connected people.

  • StopThePigs - 2011-08-15 09:34

    More pigs at the trough, screaming for their ANC viva

  • Virginia - 2011-08-15 13:04

    Probably one of these benefit buys, from an ex government official, with a kickback included.

  • dries.bisschoff - 2011-08-15 22:23

    Ha ha ha, some consultant is getting stinking rich. The duplicate transaction is a common aparition in (badly designed) web systems. Contact for help to solve this.

  • Michael - 2011-08-16 10:56

    Works in Namibia Post Office and we are integrating our software to it at some point, which does not duplicate data. Http://

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