Although the application of an adhesive postage stamp provides a convenient means of prepaying for postage on a small number of letters, special handstamps were supplied to facilitate the handling of large batches of letters.
The first of the Paid Stamps (PS 1) to denote prepayment of postage durig the adhesive period, was brought into use about 1870. It was cirular, with a diameter of 24 mm. It contains the words “Cape Town” and “Paid” within the circle with 1/2 d denomination at the centre. Golblatt records tha this was the only value used, the strike always being impressed in red, however, a 1d ‘Paid’ stamp of a similar design exists.This is illustrated below and referred to as (PS 1 a). The 1/2 d being used for postcards and the 1 d for newspapers.
In 1888 a new design (PS 2) came into use in the Cape of Good Hope. It was also of a circular design and had a diameter of 30 mm. It had the wording G.P.O. Cape Town ontop and in the middle, in large type the word ‘Paid’.In 1907 a similar design to Paid Stamps PS 2 and PS 3 this was issued (PS 3) with slightly smaller lettering and this had the date, month and year at the bottom. These types are found struck both in black as well as red ink.