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Sapo depot locked, while post piles up

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Uncollected post and parcels are meanwhile piling up at the Kimberley and Mankurwane post offices

POSTAL deliveries have been affected by the non-payment of the rental lease for the South African Post Office depot in Black Street in Kimberley.

POSTAL deliveries have been affected by the non-payment of the rental lease for the South African Post Office depot in Black Street in Kimberley.

Post office workers indicated that the depot has been locked for a number of weeks, where postal staff are not able to access vehicles or bicycles to deliver the post.

Uncollected post and parcels are meanwhile piling up at the Kimberley and Mankurwane post offices.

It is believed that up to 62 000 municipal accounts have not been delivered, where ratepayers risk having their services suspended as the deadline for the payment of the October billings expired on November 15.

The postal notifications for the arrival of driving licences are not being received and mail orders for parcels ahead of the festive season are also being delayed.

“The rent has not been paid for several months. The 50-odd staff employed at the depot have been transferred to sort post at the mail room at the main post office. Soon there will be no space to store all the mail as post is delivered on a daily basis,” said concerned staff members.

The communications manager at Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, said that it was concerning that ratepayers were not receiving their accounts as it was affecting the collection of outstanding revenue.

“We are hoping that the matter will be resolved soon. Until then, residents are welcome to visit our offices or call customer services on the numbers 053 830 – 6283 / 6285 / 6516 / 6583 / 6585 / 6586 to find out their due balances.”

Matsie encouraged ratepayers to register to receive their accounts electronically.

“Electronic transfers must reflect prior to the due date in order to qualify for the discount of 10 percent if the payment is made in full.”

Matsie added that the delivery of vehicle licence discs could also be affected, although they were usually couriered.

“Uncollected driving licences that are valid for five years will be kept at the traffic station for collection. Motorists should visit the testing stations and bring along a valid form of identification to check if their licences have arrived.”

While the SA Post Office confirmed that there were delays, they did not indicate why the rent was not being paid for the depot.

Johan Kruger, from the communications division at the SA Post Office, said they had prioritised the rental payment for the post office sorting depot in Kimberley.

“Steps have been taken to minimise the inconvenience to our customers. Members of the public can collect their mail at the main post office, which includes Kimberley and Mankurwane.”

Kruger added that no mail would be returned to the sender until the rental payment of the depot is finalised.

“We have enough capacity to store mail and postal deliveries to post boxes are continuing. Post is also being delivered on foot.”

Kruger stated that employees who were normally employed at the sorting depot were being utilised in the mail centre, sorting mail or delivering post on foot, while others were occupied at the Department of Education Book Project.

The owner of the depot building in Black Street did not wish to comment.