Six months without postal service in Fort Beaufort

By PR Cllr William Ward, Ntsikana Constituency:

Home postal delivery services in Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape have come to a halt for over six months.

This has a huge negative impact not only on business, but also on the tens of thousands of residents who rely on the post office for their communication.

I subsequently contacted higher management of the South African Post Office (SAPO) requesting answers to the following:

  • Why has the home postal delivery system stopped without any notice to members of the Fort Beaufort community?
  • How long will the current situation continue?
  • When will the Fort Beaufort Post Office resume with the delivery of home postal services?
  • What will happen to the millions of undelivered post/letters at the Fort Beaufort office of the last six months?
  • How you are going to change the negative perceptions of the broader community towards the postal service in Fort Beaufort?

SAPO area manager for East London, Nomgqibelo Nyati, responded and explained that the non- delivery of mail is due to the termination of delivery agents, with SAPO’s head office busy preparing new contracts.

Mrs Nyati assured me that she would get two casual workers from Balfour and Fort Beaufort to help sort out the mail on Saturday, 14 November 2015 in preparation for delivery the following Saturday, 21 November 2015.

This arrangement was subsequently changed as Mrs Nyati phoned me on Thursday, 19 November 2015, to confirm that she will not be able to deliver the post on Saturday due to:

  • The risks of unauthorised usage of post office transport without consent from the head-office of the Post Office and;
  • A scheduled meeting on Tuesday, 24 November 2015, at the Post Office in Fort Beaufort with local (ANC ) ward councillors from the township experiencing the same problems.

Under a DA government, the residents and businesses of Fort Beaufort would be treated fairly by having the opportunity of access to efficient service delivery and the freedom to receive their mail timeously.

The DA believes that government should take immediate steps to end the SAPO’s legislated mail and small parcel monopoly, and through engagement with the private sector, get the mail moving again.