ONLY two out of the nine postal and courier services operators in the country have operating licences after the recent promulgation of the Lesotho Communications Authority (Administrative Amendment) Rules of 2018.
The new rules which have been long overdue have been passed to operationalise the Communications Act of 2012 which aims to regulate postal services along with broadcasting and telecommunication services.
Among other things, the new rules compel service providers to have insurance guarantee that will help address any losses consumers may experience in using courier and postal services.
The rules will enable customers to approach the LCA and give them recourse in the event of losses being suffered from using courier and postal services.
So far only Lesotho Postal Services and DHL Lesotho have been licensed under the new regulations.
Lesotho Postal Services is authorised to provide postal, financial services, Express Mail Services (EMS) throughout the country as well as parcel services up to a weight of 20 kilogrammes in Lesotho.
DHL Lesotho is authorised to provide Courier, Express and Parcel (CEP) services in Lesotho generated by individual customers, small and medium enterprises (SME) and any other customers including multinational companies and government institutions.
LCA information officer, Tšiu Tšiu, said the new regulations would bring relief to customers by ensuring the delivery of quality services and giving them recourse in the event that high quality standards are not met.
“Before the new regulations, there was nowhere to go for consumers with complaints about the quality of services they received but now they will be able to approach the LCA with their complaints,” Mr Tsiu said.
He further said that only two out of the nine postal and courier services operators currently operating in the country have been licensed in terms of the latest regulations.
Mr Tsiu also said that although the Communications Act was passed in 2012, it had taken this long to operationalise the act because the LCA needed “to do our due diligence on the industry so as to have a better appreciation of issues that affected it”.
He further said as part of the build-up to implementation of the new rules, the LCA have been consulting stakeholders for their input.
“We expect that the transition to the new way of operating under new regulations will take time and we are willing to give those who are not yet licensed the time they may need to adjust. But at some point we will have to fully implement the new rules accordingly.”