The South African Post Office (Sapo) has released a special stamp to mark 25 years of democracy.
“The stamp effectively puts a seal on the key democratic rights that the Post Office has delivered to South Africans over the past 25 years,” Sapo CEO Mark Barnes said on Friday.
Designed by the post office’s graphic designer, Rachel Ackermann, the artwork on the stamp uses a combination of watercolours and digital artwork, and features a man holding the South African flag, looking out over the ocean to a symbolic future for all.
The stamp costs R31.80 – the rate for a registered letter and is available at all major post offices or from SA.Stamps@postoffice.co.
“Relevant to the upcoming elections is the verification of registered voter’s addresses the Post Office did together with the Independent Electoral Commission. Without this work millions of South Africans, particularly those in informal or rural settlements, would have been unable to exercise their right to vote,” Sapo said.
Since 1994, the Post Office has given formal addresses to seven million households in deep rural and informal settlements. Before that they had no formal addresses at all.
“This enables them to open a bank account and have a working cell phone. Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) requirements mean it is not possible to open a bank account without an address. The same requirement applies to SIM card requirements of the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (RICA).
“Because the address includes GPS markers, citizens who use these new addresses can be found by an emergency service – no matter how informal their settlement,” Sapo said.
Through the new South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) card issued by Postbank, the Post Office delivers the right to dignity and social security to more than 11 million South Africans.
In April 2019, the SAPO system disbursed close to R10 billion worth in Sassa grants.
The Post Office ensures the right of access to information for all through the digital terrestrial television (DTT) project, where the Post Office registers needy households for a digital decoder. This allows them to continue watching television after the switch to digital broadcasts.
“In the immediate future, the Post Office intends to launch an online platform that will help SMME’s to become active in e-commerce.
“Postbank intends to play a central role in funding business expansion, particularly for small businesses and traders, in its determination to help bridge the economic divide in South Africa,” Sapo said.