The Parkview Post Office in Johannesburg. Picture: THE TIMES
The Parkview Post Office in Johannesburg. Picture: THE TIMES

In terms of schedule 2 (a) of the Postal Services Act, unreserved postal services include all letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels and any other postal articles that fall outside the ambit of the reserved postal services set out in schedule 1, up to and including 30kg.

Even though we understand the context of the headline on your article (“Icasa backs post office’s push to limit parcel deliveries by couriers”, May 4), which was probably based on the fact that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has filed papers to defend its decision, the statement that Icasa is backing the SA Post Office (Sapo) to stop private courier companies from delivering small parcels is incorrect, because the law in terms of schedule 1 is clear that letters and parcels between zero and 1kg are reserved for Sapo, while unreserved postal services can deliver parcels from 1kg up to 30kg.

It is for this reason that in our response to a question about supporting Sapo on the matter we said Icasa’s mandate is to implement what the law requires, and we are doing exactly that. Icasa is also empowered to develop and implement regulations in line with the legislation. In doing so, Icasa ensures that the playing field is level and everything is done fairly and nondiscriminately.

Therefore, whether Icasa interprets the law the same as Sapo is something to be determined by the courts. In short, Icasa is not necessarily backing Sapo but defending its decision as recommended by the regulator’s complaints and compliance committee.

Furthermore, schedule 2 (b) of the Postal Services Act makes reference to exemptions that apply to unreserved postal services and we simply made reference to Uber Eats and others as examples of those services that are exempted from registration and do not fall under postal services. Icasa did not say courier services can only provide food items in the 1kg or less category.

Paseka Maleka
Spokesperson, Icasa

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