The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has gazetted new postage rates and service fees for the South African Post Office, which will come into effect from 1 April 2024.
The increase in rates and fees for reserved postal services was determined on an allowable revenue cap increase of 5.5%, approved by ICASA for the 2024/25 tariff control period.
While it may seem strange in a modern setting where digital is the go-to for communications, the Post Office still has stamps available for purchase – even in bulk.
From April, it will cost any budding philatelists between R63 and R6,300 to get a book (or books) of stamps.
|Booklet of 10 stamps
|Box of 50 booklets (500 stamps)
|Box of 100 booklets (1 000) stamps)
|Roll of 100 stamps
The new rates for domestic letters are as follows:
|Customers’ own envelope/postcard
|Small (DL) maxi
|Ordinary mail – included envelopes
|C6 w/ and w/out window + self-seal
|DL Maxi w/ and w/out window + self seal
|B5 without window
|C4 without window
The price hikes are also impacting the Post Office’s parcel delivery services.
Any mailed item that is larger than 250 x 353 mm and/or thicker than 30 mm and/or weighing more than 1kg will be considered a parcel.
Fees for these items have increased as follows:
|Counter-to-counter (first 1kg)
|Each additional kg or part thereof
|Intercepting parcel (per parcel)
The pricing for various other services, including Business Resply Services, Fastmail and international deliveries, have also changed. You can view the full price list below:
Post Office vs couriers
The price hikes for SAPO services come as the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies looks to review laws that give the Post Office exclusive right to deliver all letters and packages under 1kg in the country.
Earlier this week, the DCDT gave notice that it would be reviewing section 16(8) of the Postal Services Act, which refers to a period of time in which no person may provide certain reserved postal services other than the SAPO.
Under this clause, any licenced postal service provider – such as couriers – is restricted from providing selected services. Currently, this includes:
- The delivery of all letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels and other postal articles weighing up to 1 kilogram;
- Issuing of postage stamps
- Provision of roadside collection and address boxes, and
- Provision of retail outlets at which customers can access these services.
The Post Office has long held the exclusive right to be the sole provider of these services, but due to the collapse of the SAPO, it has never been practically upheld.
The department gave no indication of how it wants to review the regulations – whether to dismantle them or reinforce them – only that it will be doing so.
In the meantime, the South African Post Office has continued to collapse. The group has been operating at a loss every year since 2013, and has exceeded R19 billion in losses over this time.
In December 2023, the DCDT said that SAPO is expecting another R2 billion loss in 2024, amid business rescue proceedings, which would see the group downsize significantly.