The South African Post Office Continues to Collect Postbox Renewal Fees Despite Lack of Service

By Staff Writer    10-Dec-2023 15:36 UTC+02:00

The Durban Point branch of the South African Post Office in the olden days. Image: Google Maps.

We have recently learned that the Durban Point branch of the South African Post Office (Sapo), which is listed as an active branch and which continues to charge customers full postbox renewal fees, is constantly closed during office hours, without clarity on whether the branch is still active or not.

We have visited this dilapidated branch of the Post Office four times during work hours in the past two months, only to be greeted by locked gates. We tried to call the branch and the Durban Central Post Office several times for answers but the phones rang unanswered. We then contacted Sapo through their Facebook page just over a month ago. We were told that the Point branch only did deliveries because it did not have electricity at that time. When we asked if we could collect the mail during that period, they simply said, “You can go collect.” We then visited the branch one more time and found it closed again as expected.

On Saturday, 09 December 2023, just before 10am, when the branch was supposed to be open, there was no staff member in sight, and both gates were locked. We then asked shop owners nearby if the branch was still active and they said it did open sometimes, but was in the process of closing down. Meanwhile Sapo continues to charge R670 for postboxes hosted by that branch as if it is business as usual. No effort has been made to publish the status of the branch to help customers decide whether or not to renew their postboxes for 2024.

Sapo has closed hundreds of branches nationwide in the recent past due to financial difficulties. We call on the state-owned company to provide proper updates on which branches have been closed or earmarked for closure to help individuals and businesses make alternative arrangements regarding their mail.

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