Zimbabwe: Potraz to License Courier Operators

Senior Business Reporter

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), will soon be issuing licenses to regional, inter-city and intra-city courier operators in a move that will protect users of these facilities.

In recent times there has been an increase in the number of courier operators, and demand for their services has spiked over the past year due to the Covid-19 necessitated lockdowns as well as the rise in e-commerce.

But unscrupulous operators put users' monies and goods at risk, by failing to deliver.

Potraz director-general, Dr Gift Machengete, this week said the authority has initiated the process to have the various courier service operators under national regulations.

"The authority is making moves to make the delivery of e-commerce products safer and more convenient through the introduction of Regional, Inter - City and Intra City Courier licenses.

"The authority has started a consultation process leading to the promulgation of the new licensing framework aimed at regularising the many illegal courier operators doing business between cities and towns and between Zimbabwe and regional countries like South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and Mozambique," he said.

"This will see improved quality of services and enhanced consumer protection as using unlicensed operators puts people at high risk of losing their parcels with no redress."

Official data show that as at the end of 2020, Zimbabwe's total postal and courier volumes were up, improving by 33,4 percent to record 396 975 items in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 297 680 items recorded in the third quarter of 2020.

"There was a significant improvement in international courier volumes," said Potraz in its fourth quarter 2020 report.

Over the past two decades, postal services in particular have undergone radical changes -- from a regulatory, operational and technological perspective -- throughout the world.

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