- The South African Post Office will charge more for sending mail and parcels from 1 April.
- Stamp booklets will also cost more.
- The price increases come amid a tussle for control over the delivery of packages weighing under 1kg.
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The South African Post Office's postage rates and services fees will increase on 1 April as part of the annual determination published by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
The cost of sending mail and parcels through the South African Post Office (Sapo) is due for another rise. Each year, usually in January, Icasa issues a notice in terms of section 30 of the Postal Services Act, which confirms an imminent change in postage rates and service fees.
The latest notice for "fees and charges for postal services" was gazetted this week, with the new prices coming into effect from 1 April.
The post office, together with Icasa, is currently locked in a legal battle to prohibit private couriers from handling packages weighing less than 1kg. Sapo, as the country's only licensed Reserved Postal Services (RPS) operator, has argued that it should have exclusive rights to send and receive these types of parcels.
If successful, Sapo's bid would cripple the private courier sector and lead to even longer wait times amid the public entity's financial and operational struggles.
While this battle with the South African Express Parcel Association (Saepa), which represents companies like FedEx, DHL, UPS, and RAM, rages on, the post office is moving ahead with price increases as instructed by Icasa.
All items larger than 353 x 250mm, thicker than 30mm, and weighing more than 1kg are considered parcels. Smaller items fall under specific letter product classes, namely, Small (DL) maxi, Medium (B5), and Large (B4).
These classes vary by maximum thickness, mass, and size limitations.
Unsorted or ordinary bulk mail generally refers to letters sent by individuals or small businesses. The following price changes only apply to domestic services.
Sending a parcel domestically via the counter-to-counter service will be charged at R70.90 for the first kilogram and R9.55 for each additional kg or part of a kg. It previously cost R66.90 for the first kilogram R9.00 for each additional kg or part of a kg in 2021.
The price of Sapo stamp booklets will also increase in April.
(Compiled by Luke Daniel)