The Postal Corporation of Kenya has proposed up to 64 per cent increase in mail box charges as it moves to reverse a trend of declining revenues.
Under the proposed rates, the prices paid by companies, charities and for box rental in remote areas will rise by between 38 per cent and 64 per cent.
The cost of sending letters and parcels internationally will also rise by as much as 43 per cent.
In a Gazette Notice Thursday, the Communications Authority of Kenya Director-General Francis Wangusi said that the proposed rates are meant to be commensurate with the costs of postal service provision and maintenance.
“The justification for new rates is that the cost of mail conveyance, staff costs, fuel costs, rent and maintenance of fleet has gone up,” said Postmaster General, Mr Dan Kagwe.
While the cost of renting a personal letter box will remain at Sh2,320 if the new rates are implemented, corporates will have to pay Sh10,960 up from Sh6,960.
Special corporate boxes, usually extended to philanthropic organisations, would go for Sh7,220 up from Sh5,220.
Sub-post offices are usually outposts of the corporation in remote areas. The cost of renting a box at a sub-post office will go from Sh930 to Sh1,530.
Posta is also proposing two new classes of letter boxes. Learning and religious organisations that previously fell either under the corporate or special corporate rates will now have to pay Sh8,960 for their boxes.
New market segments
Targeting new market segments, PCK also wants to introduce “stand alone boxes” in "shopping malls”, in “upmarket gated communities and petrol stations”.
“A stand-alone box is not fixed in a wall of a building and can be mounted easily,” said Postmaster General, Mr Dan Kagwe.
The cost of sending air mail to East Africa will rise from Sh80 to Sh90 while air mail send to the rest of Africa will cost Sh110 up from Sh90.
Similarly, the corporation wants Kenyans to pay an extra Sh10 to send small packets by air to East Africa, bringing the cost up to Sh80
The Communications Authority has given members of the public 30 days to submit their views on the proposed increases.
The Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) has been trying to raise revenues that have suffered due to the penetration of electronic communication technology in Kenya.
Last year, the corporation forgave letter box debt and launched new products in an attempt to entice more Kenyans back to using its services.