Mail delivery hits a snag in New Rest

Thousands of letters are packed in boxes inside the Gugulethu post office depot.

Residents of New Rest, in Gugulethu, say they have had to resort to alternative ways of getting their mail as the NY112 South African Post Office depot battles to make deliveries at their homes.

Some residents say they have had to change their postal addresses, while others say they are forced to go and search for their letters at the depot – even though a notice on the premises prohibits public access.

Although it is not exactly clear when the problem started, some residents claim it has been more than a year since they’ve had problems receiving their mail.

They say the problem escalated after the “resignation” of a woman who used to deliver letters in the area. However, others say the problem has been going on for many years and while it is believed that many other areas are affected as well, Vukani could not verify this.

When Vukani visited the depot on Friday August 11, thousands of letters in red boxes were packed across the floor and the tables. A handful of employees were trying to sort them out.

A resident who blew the whistle on the matter, said he was getting tired of having to go to the depot and search for hours for his letters.

He said he had been going to the post office since last year, with the hope that things would change. Instead, they were getting worse, he said.

He claimed the delivery of letters to the area had stopped completely, and continued to pile up at the depot, making it difficult for people to receive important documents.

“The biggest challenge is going through the boxes,” he said. “When you go there you must put everything aside. It is frustrating because we are missing out on important letters.”

Another resident, Ncumisa Swelindawo, said she used to get her letters from a local spaza shop which had been used as a distribution centre for the area for many years.

Ms Swelindawo, who was preparing to visit the depot when Vukani spoke to her, said her mother had been collecting the letters. Since her mother became ill, she had asked her to fetch the letters.

“We are not getting letters. I will be going to the post office for the first time to collect our post,” she said.

Nozuko Sunduza said she had had to change her postal address and described the situation at the depot as “chaotic”.

“When I got there, some of the letters were on the table, others in boxes,” she said.

After spending more than an hour at the depot, she said she could not find a single letter and decided to change her postal address.

“It is bad. The worse thing is we do not get our municipal accounts. As a result, when they (eventually arrive), we owe a big amount of monies,” she said.

An equally angry Avuzwa Ngubo said as a result of the “poor” service delivery, she had missed out on a placement to study dental technology at the Cape Peninsula Univerisity of Technology because she didn’t receive the correspondence from CPUT. “I got accepted for a course, but I never received my response. I only discovered when I went to apply for another subject,” said Mr Ngubo.

He added that he also used to get his post from the spaza shop. However, when things changed, he had to change his address. “I now get my letters in Gugulethu,” he said.

After numerous attempts to get comment from the depot, manager Whitey Zimemo refused to answer any questions, asking whether Vukani would “solve the problems” faced by the New Rest community.

He also lambasted the community for speaking to the media instead of directing their concerns to the depot.

When asked whether he would answer the questions posed to him, he said he would get the “relevant people” to reply to Vukani and hung up.