The history of South African postal services can be traced back more than 500 years when the captain of a Portuguese ship, Petro D’Ataide, placed a letter in a milkwood tree at Mossel Bay in the 1500s. From these humble beginnings the South African Post Office has been playing a vital role in the development of communications in South Africa ever since and can be justly proud of many achievements along the way.
In recognition of the Post Office’s achievements, a set of five stamps will be issued on 9 October to coincide with World Post Day. Designed by Charlotte Olivier, the round-shaped, self-adhesive stamps, depict some of the most recent achievements. They are:
More than 10 million households in South Africa now have postal addresses. Of these, 65% are in informal settlements and deep rural areas. Address expansion is ongoing, since informal settlements change continuously; so do rural areas, where changing conditions compel people to move, for example when soil becomes exhausted and they move to new pastures.
The first stamp represents a street in an informal settlement with the house number painted on the wall. It has become customary to paint numbers on walls instead of doors to make sure the number stays put.
eBusiness solutions boost communication
To introduce innovative initiatives and diversification from traditional ‘snail’ mail, the Post Office has developed eBusiness solutions to give customers the option to use electronic communication vehicles without changing suppliers. eBusiness Solutions include Hybrid Mail, the Virtual Post Office, Mobile Communication, Third Party Online Payments and the SAPO Trust Centre Services.
Hybrid Mail provides electronic mail lodgement, sorting and distributed printing in a sorting hub at the point of delivery to the customer ensuring faster turnaround times for the delivery of mail. This solution is specifically designed for businesses that require high-volume, electronic and physical mail preparation.
The online Virtual Post Office was introduced to complement and introduce services that the South African Post Office offer at their branches for online customers. The initiative has been designed to facilitate the online renewals of post boxes and private bags and to ensure that access to the complete South African philately catalogue is only a click away, locally as well as abroad.
The SAPO Trust Centre provides customers with digital certificates that authenticate the identity of persons and websites on the internet, thereby providing confirmation that a person or website is indeed who or what they profess to be.
Steps to reduce our carbon footprint
Over the past three years, Post Office volunteers together with local schools have planted more than 2 800 trees at schools throughout South Africa. The trees are fruit trees or trees that are indigenous to the area where they are planted. This has not only offset more than 3,5% of the Post Office’s carbon footprint, but also beautifies the school grounds and teaches the children to care for plants and the environment.
More people are banking on us
Since the inception of the Mzansi account concept, Postbank has provided close to 4 million Mzansi accounts. There are more than 1 400 Postbank branches countrywide – more than any other bank in South Africa. In rural areas, Postbank is often the only provider of financial services such as savings and transmission accounts, as well as money transfers – a vital lifeline for rural families whose breadwinners work in cities.
Providing third party services of other organisations to the people
Customers can conclude a number of transactions at the Post Office thanks to post offices countrywide now providing services other than those related to official Post Office business.
• renew their motor vehicle licences at most post office branches
• pay their Telkom and municipal accounts, as well as traffic fines from certain municipalities
• recharge cell phones
• pay television licenses
• fax and photocopy documents
• buy Lotto tickets
• access Speed Services courier services.
Information provided by:
Johan Kruger: Communications Manager, South African Post Office
Stamp issue date: 9 October 2013
Artwork: Charlotte Olivier
Stamp size: 38 mm (round)
Stamp sheet size: 172 x 233 mm
Paper: Self adhesive litho coated stamp paper with coated release. Total weight: 247 gsm
Quantity printed: 70 000 sheets
Printing process: Offset Lithography
Printed by: Cartor Security Printing, France