DCDT to review SAPO’s exclusivity on small parcels delivery

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 07 Feb 2024
The legislative framework requires SAPO to provide services universally to every citizen.
The legislative framework requires SAPO to provide services universally to every citizen.

The Communications and Digital Technologies minister Mondli Gungubele has called on the public to provide written input on his intentions to review the exclusivity period during which the South African Post Office (SAPO) may provide a reserved postal service.

This week the minister published a notice in the Government Gazette, requesting information on his intentions to evaluate, in terms of Section 16(8) of the Postal Services Act, 1998 (Act No 124 of 1998), the period during which no person/entity other than the SAPO may provide a reserved postal service.

In terms of schedule one of the Postal Services Act, the reserved postal services include:

(a) Delivery of all letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels weighing up to 1kg.

(b) Issuing of postage stamps.

(c) Provision of roadside collection and address boxes.

(d) Provision of retail outlets at which customers can access reserved services.

As per the department, SAPO is mandated by both legislation and its licence to offer postal services universally to all citizens across the country. This ensures equal access to a basic postal service for everyone, regardless of their location, at a consistent postage rate, and an affordable price.

The review follows SAPO's legal action against PostNet and the SA Express Parcel Association, seeking exclusive rights to deliver packages weighing 1kg or less. The court battle, ongoing since 2018, has raised concerns among e-commerce players. They fear that blocking courier companies from distributing items weighing under 1kg could spell disaster for SA’s e-commerce industry.

Interested persons are invited to provide written comments within 30 calendar days of the publication, addressed to:

The director-general, Department of Communications and Digital Technologies for the attention of: 

Phendile Dlamini: deputy director, Postal Policy

1166 Park Street, Iparioli Office Park, Block Office A3, First Floor, Hatfield, Pretoria

Private BagX860, 0001 Pretoria,

Tel: 012 427 8169 and 071 873 4202