MyBroadband tested the performance of two private sector services against that of the South African Post Office (SAPO).

Currently SAPO and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) are trying to stop private courier companies from delivering packages under 1kg in South Africa.

SAPO says only licensed providers can deliver “reserved postal services” in terms of legislation.

“Reserved postal services” include letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels, and other postal articles up to and including 1kg.

Private courier companies have warned that there could be devastating consequences if SAPO’s legal bid is successful.

They argue that SAPO doesn’t have the capacity to replace the services offered by private courier companies like FedEx, UPS, The Courier Guy and Fastway.

With this in mind, MyBroadband tested SAPO’s service against the Courier Guy and Fastway using tracking devices from Centurion to Port Elizabeth 

SAPO offers door-to-door, counter-to-counter, and counter-to-door parcel delivery.

The Courier Guy and Fastway offer similar services, including door-to-door next-day deliveries.

When MyBroadband tried to arrange door-to-door delivery by SAPO, it received no response via email, and the contact number to arrange collection was not answered, even after more than 30 minutes.

MyBroadband settled for counter-to-door services from SAPO, which required someone to visit a post office to send the package – not so with The Courier Guy and Fastway.

The Courier Guy parcel arrived at the recipient’s door in Port Elizabeth the next working day; Fastway took two working days and SAPOs counter-to-counter parcel was delivered to a post office branch close to the recipient in four working days. The counter-to-door parcel was delivered after two working days, a day later than was promised.