DPO Opinion: SA Post Office Vs Postnet & SAEPA

DPO South Africa’s MD, Peter Harvey, comments on the Post Office’s court action against PostNet and the South African Express Parcel Association (SAEPA) over the delivery of packages weighing 1kg and less. 

“There is a strong argument for a robust, well funded and effective Post Office. However, in the absence of that, we must ensure that the private sector is allowed to fill the gap. We work with tens of thousands of ecommerce companies, many of which are small businesses that have sprung up as a result of COVID shutdowns. These smaller businesses, which are already dealing with the complexities of competing against larger, and even international companies, rely on their courier partners to ensure reliable, secure and fast delivery.

Whenever we have the opportunity to advise these SMEs we have highlighted the importance of this last mile in the customer journey. In many instances it will be the lasting impression in the minds of the shopper and can be the difference between securing repeat business, or losing a customer to the competition.

Placing limitations on who can handle smaller packages will not only negatively impact the local logistics sector, but could very well have a negative impact on our budding ecommerce sector. This seems counterintuitive to the President’s drive to support the principles of a 4IDR-based economy, not to mention jeopardizing many thousands of jobs. In our opinion, the government should work hard on improving the state of the South African post-office and then allow it to compete against the private sector based on service and price, rather than relying on anti-competitive regulations to secure its future.”

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