The Philatelic Federation of South Africa is the umbrella body of stamp clubs and philatelic societies and is dedicated to the promotion of the hobby and the study of all its facets, and the promotion of the interests of its membership.
It functions through an annual congress, which elects office-bearers, and an executive (management committee), which appoints portfolio managers and committees as required.
Seven regional vice-presidents facilitate liaison between the clubs and the central functionaries. Another vice-president is involved with the affiliated specialist groups abroad.
The major event of the year is the national stamp exhibition, which is sanctioned and largely sponsored by the Federation and is conducted according to its exhibition rules and judging standards. The Federation makes stand-up display frames available for exhibitions.
Usually the annual congress is held in conjunction with the exhibition.
The Federation publishes The South African Philatelist, a bi-monthly magazine. Founded in 1920, it is one of the oldest running stamp magazines in the world.
Services and facilities provided by the Federation include the expert verification of stamps and postal items [click], the setting of judging standards and accreditation of judges [click], caretaking for the heritage resources [click], assistance for youth groups, support for the national stamp day, the philatelic library [click], liaison with the Post Office, and the publishing and provision of reference books [click].
National Stamp Day is on the Saturday closest to 9 October, anniversary day of the founding of the Universal Postal Union (in 1875), and is celebrated in the form of a public outreach by stamp clubs at shopping centres and major libraries.
The Federation is a member of the Federation of Inter-Asian Philately (FIAP) (since 1996) and the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) (since 1992), and facilitates participation by South African collectors at two international stamp exhibitions every year.