South African Post Office struggling to clear its backlog

The South African Post Office (SAPO) continues to sort through its backlog of accumulated mail caused by a two-week long strike nearly four months ago.

According to a report by Business Day, CEO Mark Barnes had previously said that the Post Office would get back to normal at the end of September, and then again at the end of October.

However, he has now revised this self-imposed deadline to the end of November.

Barnes further confirmed that there are still approximately 7.8 million items to dispatch before the backlog can be cleared – with more than 38 million parcels and letters accumulated over the two-week strike period.

While Barnes tackles the backlog, he will also have to contend with a number of service issues.

Frequent complaints include slow delivery times, lost packages, website downtime, and poor communication with clients.

Recent tests conducted by MyBroadband found that SAPO customers can expect long delivery times – up to a month or more for a letter delivery within the same city.

The tests also showed that it is common for parcels and letters to not be delivered at all.

The SA Post Office lists the expected service levels on its website as follows:

  • Letters generally take two days within the same town or city to reach their destination, three days between two cities in the same province, and four days between cities in different provinces.
  • Fastmail is a letter service in South Africa with a one-day delivery standard in the same city or town, a two-day delivery standard for all other destinations.

Read: Post Office says its newest IT upgrade will make it as fast as SA banks

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South African Post Office struggling to clear its backlog