SA Post Office during lockup
  • Around 500 of South Africa's nearly 1,500 post offices will remain open for the remainder of the lockdown.
  • Every Post Office branch was open for social grant payments, but now only those deemed essential for financial transactions will stay in business.
  • You won't be getting any mail, though: all domestic and international mail delivery is suspended.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Some 500 post offices will remain open for the remainder of South Africa's national Covid-19 lockdown, but they won't be delivering any mail.

"At this stage the delivery of all domestic and international mail is on hold," SA Post Office (SAPO) acting CEO Ivumile Nongogo said in response to questions from Business Insider South Africa. 

Every Post Office branch – some 1,500 across the country, not counting another around 1,400 Post Office counters in stores – remained open during the initial stages of the lockup, for the payment of social grants.

Now that is down to 500 branches deemed important for the delivery of financial services and other essential services, such as delivering medication.

(Exactly how many and which branches remain open depends in part on demand.)

While many financial transactions are deemed essential, not all the Post Office's usual over-the-counter services are on offer; motor vehicle licence renewals, for instance, are suspended.

See also: SA’s lockdown now comes with an automatic extension to driver’s and car licences

But there will be no mail deliveries at all during the lockdown and, if it were to be extended, mail is expected to remain on hold during any further period unless lockdown regulations are altered.

The hold includes registered mail essential to some legal processes – such as declaring force majeure during a crisis. But the SAPO's registered email product remains open for business, Nongogo said, and that system meets all legal requirements for registered mail. 

The Post Office has recently sought to enforce regulations that make it the only entity allowed to offer "reserved postal services", such as delivering items that weigh less than one kilogram.

Click here for a live list of Post Offices branches currently open in South Africa, updated by the SAPO as its outlets open or close.

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