The South African Post Office (SAPO) says it has suspended its mail service to Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
Ukraine is embroiled in armed conflict following a Russian invasion into its territory. Russia has reportedly launched some of its attacks from Belarus.
Services to other destinations not affected
In a statement on Wednesday (2 March), the Post Office however said airmail is still available to 33 countries and surface mail to 51 countries.
It added, “Customers who order items from other countries should include their cell phone number with their address details so that the Post Office is able to send them an SMS when the item is ready for collection.
“Customers who send items to other countries must make sure they do not send anything that is not allowed in the mail, which includes any arms, ammunition, explosives, liquids or items that could break and leak.
“No plant or animal material may be sent to other countries. For more information, please visit the website of the postal administration in the receiving country.”
South Africa welcomes Russia-Ukraine talks
SAPO’s decision is presumably caused by logistical challenges of delivering mail to war-affected regions. Several countries have also imposed sanctions on Russia and Belarus, thereby affecting various transnational operations.
Officially, South Africa has urged parties in the conflict to resort to mediation and avert further armed conflict. Earlier this week, South Africa’s permanent representative to the United Nations welcomed talks between the two countries.
“South Africa is of the view that this armed conflict, like all others, will result in unnecessary human suffering and destruction, with global ramifications. In situations of conflict, the most vulnerable tend to suffer the most during and post the conflict,” Ambassador Mathu Joyini said.
“In this regard, we also urge the Security Council to utilise existing tools at its disposal in support of the pacific settlement of disputes. We also believe that the Good Offices of the UN Secretary-General could make a positive contribution in finding a lasting solution to this conflict and should be utilised.”
Meanwhile, South Africa has continued its efforts to evacuate its nationals from Ukraine. According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela, 28 South African students have already left the country.
“Four are still being assisted to cross into Poland, (while) two are in a town far from conflict zone (closest to Russia). There’s a plan to assist,” Monyela tweeted on Tuesday (1 March).