Sakeliga ready against attempts to give Post Office a monopoly

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The parcels that are delivered in South Africa are not thanks to the Post Office but to private courier services. Sakeliga, therefore, opposes any attempts to ban private courier services. 

Sakeliga’s position is contained in official comments to the Minister of Communications and Digital Technology after he requested comments last month on a monopoly for the Post Office that has existed for decades at most on paper. 

According to the Minister’s interpretation, the Post Office should enjoy an exclusive right to distribute letters, postcards, printed material, small parcels and other postal items up to 1kg. Also, the Post Office would be the only entity that may provide collection points and post boxes and the only one that may offer service points for these “reserved services”. 

Although the Minister gives no indication of what he intends with his review of the alleged exclusive rights of the Post Office, it is possible that he may try to strengthen the alleged rights. Such a move would join efforts since 2019 by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to ban Postnet from delivering parcels and performing other so-called reserved postal services. 

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In our comments to the Minister, Sakeliga indicated that the mere consideration of trying to create a monopoly for the Post Office is absurd. The Post Office is in such an advanced state of disrepair that the mere consideration of banning private parcel delivery or any so-called reserved postal services would be completely irrational. 

Sakeliga is monitoring the developments and will, if necessary, take legal action to protect accessible and affordable delivery services. The public’s access to affordable and reliable goods and services and people’s freedom to trade and practice their trade or profession of choice is essential. 

Meanwhile, we point out that the Post Office is in no position to perform exclusive postal services and that the government cannot ban private couriers or other delivery services. 

Click here to view Sakeliga’s comments.

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