Posta Kenya gets approval to raise postage costs

Posta Kenya gets approval to raise postage costs

The cash-strapped Postal Corporation of Kenya (Posta) has been granted approval to raise the costs of sending mail from January 1, 2021 by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).

In a notice in local dairies on Tuesday, the postman indicated it had received the green light to move ahead with the implementation of the higher postage costs which are set to cushion it from a greater costs of doing business.

“The new tariffs are in line with ever-changing market dynamics and cost of business operations,” the corporation stated.

New postage prices are set to be gazetted in mid-December to reflect the changes in pricing which affects the cost of sending letters, post cards, parcels and newspapers both domestically and internationally.

According to draft postage rates published in August this year, the cost of sending a letter weighing between 500 grams and one kilogram is expected to increase to Ksh.235 from Ksh.140.

Meanwhile, the cost of sending a postcard is expected to rise to Ksh.40 from the current Ksh.25.

The pricing review is part of Posta Kenya’s review of operations as it stares at potential insolvency occasioned largely by cash-flow disruptions emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides the pandemic however, the operations of Posta Kenya have continued to near redundancy as Kenyans opt for modern means of communicating along with private courier services.

According to CA statistics in three months to June 2020, the number of letters posted locally recorded a 58.2 per cent decline to 3.5 million from 8.5 million in the quarter to March.

This compared to over 23 million letters posted in the first three months of 2011.

Earlier in September, Treasury approved a Ksh.810 million bail out allowing the Corporation to clear staff salary arrears which had accumulated since March this year.

Post Master General Dan Kagwe has however defended the operations of the corporation insisting it remains with the ability to expedite on its mandate to Kenyans.

“For 145 years, Posta had never been bail out until the emergence of the pandemic which severly affected our operations. Words like bailout are not a vocabularly in our business,” he said on October 9.