President Zuma gets his own special stamp

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has been presented with his very own postage stamp by the South African Post Office.

Two million editions of the stamps, printed with a photograph of the President and his name, will be available at all post office outlets in the country at a cost of R2.25.

The Post Office honours all South African Presidents with a stamp and in terms of its stamp policy, Heads of State and former Heads of State are the only living people who can feature on stamps.

President Zuma is the fourth president since South Africa's democracy to be honoured in this manner.

The stamp, which features a photograph of the President, the Presidential Coat of Arms and the Union Buildings in the background, was unveiled on Tuesday.

Zuma said stamps were said to be a country's smallest ambassador, travelling into households across the world and carrying a nation's identity and hopes to an international audience.

"To many people they are more than just a means to get their goods from one place to the next, from job applications to reconnecting loved ones," said the President, adding that stamps brought people together.

Government has made great strides over the last 15 years to bring postal services to all South Africans, said the President, adding that more people would be able to receive letters mailed with this stamp than they were able to receive letters mailed with the first Presidential stamp in 1994.

He said government would continue striving and working for universal access to communication services such as postal services, telecommunications, broadcasting and telephony.

Communications Minister, General Siphiwe Nyanda, who presented a framed stamp to the President, said the event was a direct response to the White Paper on Postal Policy, which provides that the unique and varied nature of South African society, history and culture be mirrored through the postal stamps.

"The policy further encourages the promotion of social cohesion and national identity; it dictates that the process of selecting stamp themes should reflect the cultural diversity of South African society," he explained.

Chairperson of the Post Office board, Vuyo Mahlati, said the Post Office was proud to continue the tradition of preserving its history and heritage of issuing stamps honouring the country's presidents.

"We hope that our effort will align with your vision to fulfil the dreams of the marginalised. The stamp will remain a significant chapter and will be a symbol of possibilities and a better life for all.

"It should be a treasure to the world, as they will have a piece of the president," Mahlati said.

The stamps can be used on domestic standard letters and will be available at all Post Offices with philatetic counters. They can also be ordered from the Post Office's Philatetic Services on 012 845 2800 or email to sa.stamps@postoffice.co.za

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