The Star Late Edition

Battle for 1kg packages


THE POST Office, PostNet and SA Express Parcel Associatio­n are set to square off in court later this year regarding the delivery of packages weighing 1kg and less.

The post office said it was the only entity licensed in terms of the Postal Services Act to courier these packages.

PostNet earlier rushed to the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, where it secured an urgent order to put a ruling on hold which would have prohibited the franchise from further couriering any package weighing 1kg or less.

This was pending the legal wrangle between the parties due to be heard by the high court in Pretoria, on a date still to be announced.

The Independen­t Communicat­ions Authority of SA (Icasa) earlier informed PostNet that from, March 17 last year, it may no longer courier reserved postal services, as it did not carry a licence to do so. PostNet, however, at the time secured an order allowing it to continue transporti­ng these small parcels pending the outcome of the review proceeding­s.

Icasa acted on a recommenda­tion by the Complaints and Compliance Committee following a grievance lodged by the post office about PostNet also offering reserved postal services.

PostNet indicated that it would take Icasa’s decision on review.

PostNet said in court papers issued during its earlier urgent applicatio­n, that the post office had for long struggled to meet market demands, thus private entities stepped in.

They said if they were stopped from transporti­ng these packages, they would also have to stop providing courier services regarding small items such as bank cards, books and cellphones.

Peter Harvey, managing director of DPO South Africa, a payment services provider, serving e-commerce businesses such as Takealot, said that placing limitation­s on who could handle smaller packages could have a very negative impact not only on the local logistics sector, but also the budding sector. He commented that there was a strong argument for a robust, wellfunded and effective post office.

“However, in the absence of that, we must ensure that the private sector is allowed to fill the gap.”

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