Two-year backlog clogs post office depot

FILE PICTURE: A post office sign. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark
FILE PICTURE: A post office sign. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark.

NOTE Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on May 19, 2014. 

small post office depot is chock -a-block with thousands of letters, many of which may have gone undelivered for two years, according to a source at the Post Office.

The Post Office last week ordered an internal investigation after an employee at the affected branch blew the whistle.

The whisteblower insisted that colleagues not be allowed to “hide this thing” by dumping the mail in an effort to save face and “not face the customers affected”.

The Post Office branch in Wesselsbron, Free State, doubles as the postal depot for the area.

“The mail has been sitting there since 2012, we don’t have space to move,” the whistleblower is reported to have said.

Following the whistleblower’s efforts, the matter ended up at the Post Office’s headquarters in Pretoria.

Janras Kotsi, spokesperson to the group executive of Mail Business, said two senior investigators had been assigned to conduct a “thorough investigation into the undelivered mail that was discovered in Wesselsbron”.

However, the source alleged that members of the investigation team had wanted to hide the incident. “They wanted to convince the manager to not publish the report, which is just wrong.”

Only some of the delayed mail would be required by the SA Police as evidence for prosecution, Kotsi said. Most of it was “ordinary mail” which would be delivered as soon as possible.

He added that the Post Office has a “zero tolerance” policy on postal crime.

“A disciplinary procedure and suspension which may lead to dismissal.” If criminal acts are uncovered, they would be referred to the police for criminal prosecution.