South African Post Office

The exclusive rights to services the South African Post Office has look likely to be revoked. Image: File/Fotor

PRIVATE sector is cleaning up the South African Post Office’s mess

By law, the South African Post Office is still granted exclusivity over certain services. But that’s all likely to change.

South African Post Office

The exclusive rights to services the South African Post Office has look likely to be revoked. Image: File/Fotor

It’s no secret that the South African Post Office is in a dire state. Currently in business rescue, it is looking down the barrel of R19 billion in debt and thousands of job loses. Now, to make matters worse, Business Tech reports that its exclusivity to certain high-profit services is being reviewed.

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That’s right, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has gazetted a notice that will review section 16(8) of the Postal Services Act. This act refers to a period of time in which no person or company may provide services reserved exclusively for the South African Post Office.


post office
The local state-run postal service is in dire straits. Image: File

Currently, licenced postal service providers – such as the hundreds of courier companies operating in South Africa – are in fact forbidden to offer the following:

  • Deliver any postal articles weighing up to 1kg.
  • Issue postage stamps.
  • Provide roadside collection and address boxes.
  • Offer retail outlets which provide access to services.

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But wait a second, you may be asking yourself: A host of courier companies provide these exact services in South Africa. That’s correct. By law, the South African Post Office has exclusive rights to the above services. However, the laws have never been practically upheld. And many independent services have formed and grown successful operations over the years.


Their inability has opened the door for private companies to swoop in and fill the void. Image: File

Furthermore, since 2018, the South African Post Office has sued groups like PostNet and Takealot on the basis of its exclusive rights deal to deliver small packages. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) backed the legal action. However, a high court interdict prevented the action from going any further.

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Nevertheless, the DCDT wants to review these laws once and for all with its gazette notice. And it calls on interested parties to provide written comment to:

Ms. Phendile Dlamini, Deputy Director, Postal Policy:

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What do you think about the South African Post Office losing exclusivity over these services? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.