Post Office Takes to Court to Stop Couriers Delivering Small Parcels

Post Office Takes to Court to Stop Couriers Delivering Small Parcels

- The South African Post Office will reportedly be appearing in court to stop courier companies from delivering certain sized packages

- According to reports, SAPO wants to halt the transportation of packages weighing 1kg or less than that

- The post office as well as PostNet and the South African Express Parcel Association will be appearing in court soon

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The South African Post Office (SAPO) is scheduled to appear in court to halt courier companies from transporting and delivering packages weighing 1kg and less.

The Post Office, PostNet and the South African Express Parcel Association (SAEPA) are scheduled to appear in court in a series of events with consequences that could change the entire courier industry in South Africa.

A ruling given in late 2019 by Communications regulator Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) discovered that PostNet had gone against the Postal Services Act by transporting such packages.

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Post Office to block all small packages from being delivered
The South African Post Office is heading to court to stop all transporting and delivering of packages that are 1kg or less. Image: Christopher Lee/Bloomberg and @PostofficeSa / Twitter
Source: Getty Images

According to Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka while conversing with BusinessDay, the regulator will stand in support of the Post Office as they are in their legal right, which permits private couriers to only courier food items in the 1kg or less category.

According to BusinessTech, due to the Post Office being the only operator of this type in South Africa, the Post Office has exclusivity to offer courier services relating to all letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels and other postal articles up to and including 1kg.

Chief Executive of SAEPA Garry Marshall SAEPA spoke with MyBroadband to explain that a large portion of the items transported by private couriers weigh under 1kg and the Post Office is claiming exclusivity on this specific category.

Marshall gave the example of a person at home who orders a router. If the court rules in favour of the Post Office, the person would need to have the item shipped through them and collect it from the Post Office if they do not use the Speed Services door-to-door option.

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The SAEPA organisation expressed concerns stating that the consequences could be drastically negative if the Post Office comes out on top. 

Briefly News previously reported that e-commerce company Wish announced a partnership with the South African Post Office (SAPO) on Wednesday, 21 April. In a shareholder statement, the company stated that it would be creating more consistent and efficient experiences for their customers who reside in SA.

The Vice-President of Operations at Wish, Thomas Chuang, stated that the company is aiming to democratise e-commerce by making it affordable, accessible and open to all. He continued by saying that the SA market is important for their business and the company's partnership with SAPO will ensure faster delivery time by over 50%.

Chuang explained that the partnership is critical in assisting with customer satisfaction and experience, adding that this would enable the company to serve their customers in the SA market.

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