After years of having to go to the post office to do anything related to the post office, South Africans finally have a digital post office. This virtual post office can be accessed online and enables users to do everything they usually would at the post office without spending the ridiculous wait times in line or trying to get the post office open during their inconvenient times. So, if you are like the rest of those who prefer to do things online, you should read through this guide on how to register for a Virtual Post Office in South Africa.
Four Steps to Register for a Virtual Post Office
If you want to be able to access some of the services available through your local post office branch anytime, you should register an account with the virtual post office. Fortunately, registration is straightforward and is free. You only have to start paying when you need to use a specific service or pay a traffic fine. So, to get started, follow the four steps below.
Step #1: Navigate to the Online Registration
First, you need to visit the virtual post office website, where you will see the option to register on the top right corner of the page. Click on this option to navigate to the registration page.
Step #2: Select Your Profile Type
When you’re on the registration page, you will need to enter your account type. You have one of three options available to you:
- Private User (SA Citizen): This account type is for those with a valid South African Identity number and who intend to use the service for personal purposes.
- Private User (Foreigner): You can select this option if you have a valid passport number but intend to use the service for non-commercial use.
- Business: If you want to conduct business on the Virtual Post Office through your company, you will select business and will be required to enter your company details and business registration number.
Step #3: Enter Your Details
Once you’ve selected your profile type, you will be redirected to a registration form that will ask you to fill in personal – or business – details. This will include your name and surname, ID number, business registration number (if you selected business), email address and cell phone number.
Double-check that these details are correct before you submit.
Step #4: Login Using Temporary Details
After you’ve entered your particulars, including your email address, the virtual post office will send you an email with temporary login details. Visit the Virtual Post Office’s website, and use those login details.
Then, once you’ve entered the temporary password, create your own.
What Can You Do On The Virtual Post Office?
Although the post office offers numerous services, including grant payment pickups, license renewals, and postal services – including buying and selling stamps and parcel delivery – through its branches, the same is not true about the virtual post office.
Presently, the virtual post office only has a few services available through its website: post box renewals and traffic fine payments.
However, not every driver can use the virtual post office’s fine payment option.
Another feature missing from the virtual post office is registering a new post box. You will still need to visit a branch for that.
So, if you want to use the virtual post office as a replacement for all the tasks you can do through your local post office branch, you will still have to make alternative arrangements.
But for those in remote areas or people who don’t want to go to the post office every time they renew their box, having this convenience ensures your post box will never be locked because of late payment.
Is the Virtual Post Office’s Website Safe for Card Transactions?
Since you can pay for services using your credit or debit card, you should establish whether or not the virtual post office’s website is safe. Thankfully, the virtual post office is safe to use since they use HTTPS encryption. But given the increase in website spoofing, you should always double-check that the web address you’re entering is the correct one and that the site you’re accessing has HTTPS encryption.
Will You Receive Proof of Payment for Transaction Completed through the Virtual Post Office?
If your transaction through the Virtual Post Office is successful, you will get confirmation that they’ve received your payment through a tax invoice. This proof of payment will be sent to the email address attached to the account that made the payment.
In the event you choose to pay via bank transfer or EFT, you should wait for one to two business days for the payment to clear before contacting the Virtual Post Office for any updates.
You may also need to check your spam or junk mail in case your email provider filters messages from the post office.
What is the Difference Between the Virtual Post Office and Having a Virtual Post Box?
Since the virtual post office launched in 2020, many have confused the site with a business where you can access a virtual post box, thinking the two activities were linked in some way.
The virtual post office allows you to access services available through South Africa Post Office branches online, whereas a virtual post box allows you to have mail and packages delivered to a forwarding address.
Virtual post boxes are helpful if you expect to receive plenty of packages but won’t be at home or if you need to have a business address other than your home address. However, the South African Post Office does not have such a service.
Instead, you would have to use a third-party service to get access to a virtual post box.
Most companies that offer office coworking services also offer virtual post box services. And unlike the post office, these services don’t charge per year; they charge per month. The costs usually range anywhere from R350 to R1,000 a month for the service.
If you need any further assistance, you can contact the Post Office on 0860 086 860 during office hours.