The South African Post Office’s annual rates increase has occurred without much publicity both through the media and at Post Office branches around South Africa.
The increases took effect on 1 April, with most basic postal services increasing by between 30c and 70c.
The Post Office did not publish any press release and its rate card is not easily visible on its website, while there are allegedly no brochures in its branches around South Africa.
Small ordinary mail increased from R3 to R3,30 (an increase of 10%), medium mail from R5,95 to R6,55 (10,1%) and large mail from R7,30 to R8 (9,6%).
In one of the major changes to its rates card, the company cancelled its popular Econoparcel option, increasing that size of mail’s price from R22,80 to R40,90 (an increase of 79,4%).
Fin24 user Paul Knight alleged that the Post Office had not even informed its staff. But the company said its staff did receive a message on the point-of-sale system before the service was suspended.
Fin24 user Nick Collins said he was frustrated that the Post Office had not communicated the price increases with the public.
“A week after the postal rates increase, we have yet to find out what the new prices are,” he said. “No Post Office has the pamphlets, or knows the prices.
“We inquired at a Post Office for the new brochure, but were told to go to the government printing works website, which doesn’t have it.”
Collins said the rates were not on the Post Office website, but the rates card is actually buried under “frequently asked questions” and is not easy to find when landing on the homepage.
Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said that he will alert the Post Office tellers to the location of the online rate card to ensure they give customers the right information.