Werner Leonard took photos inside the Johannesburg Mail Hub this month, showing the extent of the backlog. (Photo: Facebook)
Cape Town – Desperation, frustration and anger. Three words that sum up the sentiments of customers towards the SA Post Office (Sapo) over international mail that seems to be stuck in customs limbo.
Fuming recipients of the South Africa snail mail system have taken to Hello Peter and Facebook to vent their concerns, which include poor service delivery, customer service and basic communication.
The main sceptre of anger has been aimed at the International Mailing Hub at the OR Tambo International Airport, where there is a major backlog due to a strike that ended over three months ago.
There are nearly 2 000 complaints on Hello Peter regarding Sapo.
“I have tried going to the post office where it was to be delivered and called customer services and customs several times with no answer,” one Hello Peter user wrote. “I keep getting told to call numbers which nobody answers.”
“I have been calling [the] Sapo customer line for the whole week with no one answering my calls,” another user wrote. “I have a parcel stuck at customs and would like to know if it is possible to collect it by myself from [the] Johannesburg international mail hub.”
One frustrated post office client, who relies on it to run her business, got this reply from Sapo: “Your items are still held at customs and kindly be advised that there are delays at this section; however, we can guarantee delivery as soon as it is cleared. You are welcome to send us a request for an update on email@example.com”
The customer, known as pssdoff, replied: “Now you give me the same email address where no-one replies to your queries?"
Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger told Fin24 that customers should rather email firstname.lastname@example.org
A site for sore eyes
Werner Leonard was able to gain access to the mail hub, and took these photos on March 10:
He wrote on Facebook that he went to the main mail hub in search of a parcel he had been expecting for two months.
He found two staff members there who were “not really willing to help and nobody stopped me from walking into the hub to go look for my parcel myself”.
“This is what I saw when I walked in! No wonder no one gets anything!”
He said people had been waiting in queues from 08:00 to 15:00 without any service. He said staff were swearing at each other and “giving the clients grief”.
“It is absolute mayhem,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sapo has gone on a recruitment drive. They are in search of a Fica officer, bookkeeper, head of internal audit, head of business services management and head of business information systems.
* Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said an official response to the issues at the mailing hub would need to be signed off first and Fin24 will publish their response as soon as it arrives.
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