Clearing of mail backlog underway

Friday, August 24, 2018

The South African Post Office (SAPO) says that it is clearing the mail backlog that built up during the recently resolved nationwide industrial action by its employees.

“All SAPO employees returned to work on 19 July 2018, the day after the postal strike was called off, and mail processing has returned to normal. We have revised initial estimates for processing the backlog caused by the strike because of an upsurge in mail volumes as bulk customers lodged large volumes they held back during the industrial action,” said SAPO Chief Operations Officer, Lindiwe Kwele.

According to SAPO, the industrial action mainly affected KwaZulu-Natal and the backlog in this province is expected to be processed within six weeks.

The mail backlog for the remainder of the country is expected to be processed within three weeks.

SAPO said the backlog of international parcels will take longer because mail from other countries continued to enter South Africa at normal rates despite the strike.

“Customers expecting goods from outside of the country are requested to bear with us. All international air mail is processed through the Johannesburg International Mail Centre and the clearance process is more intricate as the shipments have to be checked for illegal contents and assessed for import duty.

“In many cases, this involves requesting proof of contents and the value of the contents such as an invoice from the customer who ordered the item,” said Kwele.

To fast track the delivery of mail, the Post Office is implementing options to speed up the processing of the international backlog by including deploying staff from other facilities and introducing extra shifts. 

“We understand the importance and value of each mail item and apologise for the inconvenience. At the same time, we would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we work to return mail processing to normal,” said Kwele. -