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Potraz moves to regulate omalayitsha

by Staff reporter
01 Nov 2023 at 05:47hrs | Views
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has expanded its licensing categories to encompass cross-border transporters, commonly referred to as "omalayitsha," in a bid to enhance the efficiency and cost competitiveness of the postal and courier services industry.

Cross-border trade plays a vital role in Zimbabwe, facilitating commerce and providing employment opportunities across the value chain. Omalayitsha, often operating between Zimbabwe and its largest trading partner, South Africa, have gained popularity, particularly in the Matabeleland region, as they facilitate monthly remittances and the transportation of groceries.

Speaking at a joint commemoration event for World Post Day 2023 and the 2023 International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) in Chivi, Potraz Director General Dr. Gift Machengete highlighted that over eight billion parcels are sent through the postal network globally each year. Recognizing the thriving e-commerce environment in the digital era, Potraz has introduced new licensing categories to tap into this potential growth.

"We have expanded our licensing categories to include commercial inter-city courier licenses and commercial intra-city courier licenses," stated Dr. Machengete. "This move ensures the participation of small businesses in the courier services sector. The move also seeks to regularize operations of pirate courier operators commonly known as omalayitsha."

In addition to addressing the omalayitsha issue, Dr. Machengete emphasized the need for the postal sector to fully embrace the growing financial inclusion drive, which is crucial for the transformation of Zimbabwe's economy.

"In addition to mail and parcel services, postal services play a significant role in global financial inclusion. In fact, postal services are the world's second-largest contributor to financial inclusion, following banks but surpassing mobile phone operators and microfinance institutions. This is also driving the revival and growth of the postal sector," he explained.

Zimbabwe currently has 11 domestic and international postal and courier service operators listed under the Potraz Licensee Register of Postal and Courier Operators. The list includes domestic companies such as Unifreight Limited, ONE Logistics (Pvt) Ltd t/a Over Night Express, Tuma Logistics Pvt Ltd, Merchandise Carriers (Pvt) Ltd, Zimdelivery (Pvt) Ltd, and Confident Courier (Pvt) Business Corporation. International postal and courier services are offered by companies like Cheetah Express Logistics (Pvt) Ltd t/a FedEx, Trek Transport (Pvt) Ltd t/a Skynet Worldwide Express, Swift, Zimbabwe Posts (Pvt) Ltd t/a Courier Connect, Financial Strategies t/a UPS, and DHL International (Pvt) Ltd.

The event was attended by the Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services, Dr. Tatenda Mavetera, her deputy Dingumuzi Phuti, ministry secretary Dr. Beulah Chirume, Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Nick Mangwana, telecommunications players, traditional leaders, and senior government officials.

Source - The Chronicle