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‘Chaos’ at post office

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“Due to a shortage of personnel to manage the grants, grant recipients therefore have to stand in line for almost two hours before even reaching a chair to sit on.”

Picture: Supplied

LONG queues at the Kimberley Post Office yesterday continued to cause frustration among city residents.

The DA yesterday called on the MECs for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Lebogang Motlhaping, and Social Development, Gift Van Staden, to urgently escalate the management of social grants and the renewal of motor vehicle licences (MVL) to a national level for urgent attention.

“This is in order to address the chaotic state of service delivery at Kimberley’s highly-understaffed and ill-equipped post office,” DA spokesperson, Melinda Hattingh, said after the party conducted an oversight inspection at the Kimberley Post Office yesterday.

“During the visit, it was apparent that while provision has now been made for bulk renewals of MVLs, which was not previously available, grant beneficiaries are bearing the brunt of the overburdened service,” Hattingh said.

“The elderly, sick and disabled are the worst affected by the bottleneck caused by the transfer of additional competencies to the post office. They have to walk to the magistrate’s court, situated behind the post office, to make use of the public toilets.”

Hattingh pointed out that the long queues for grant recipients was aggravated by the fact that two of the five post office employees are allocated to MVL.

“This means that there are only two to three staff members, when not on tea break or lunch, to handle grant payments. The fifth staff member is responsible for general post office duties.

“Due to a shortage of personnel to manage the grants, grant recipients therefore have to stand in line for almost two hours before even reaching a chair to sit on.”

She stated that it was clear that the transfer of grants and MVLs to the post office was doing little to improve accessibility and was instead causing undue frustrations amongst residents.

“The transfer will undoubtedly also result in staff burn-out if additional staff are not employed and additional workstations are not established at the post office as a matter of urgency.”

According to Hattingh, the post office will soon receive at least two additional staff members, who are still undergoing training, and one extra computer to assist with bulk licensing, which will ultimately free up more personnel for grant payments.

“The inability to provide a definite date of employment, however, is cause for concern.”

“There can be no denying that the Kimberley Post Office is in dire need of infrastructure, trained staff and efficient tools of trade to minimise frustrations and waiting periods for all people who must make use of the Kimberley Post Office, which must service the majority of grant recipients from Galeshewe and Mankurwane, as well as all Kimberley residents for renewals of MVLs.”