Headline News
22 March 2024

Koster – It’s no secret that the South African Post Office (SAPO) has been on a bit of a downward spiral, but the whole situation has gone from bad to “you’ve got to be kidding me.” We’ve seen over 400 post offices shut their doors for good since 2020. And no, it’s not because we’ve all stopped sending mail.

SAPO’s been quick to blame everything under the sun — like us moving online and some suppliers cutting them off. But let’s be real: the big elephant in the room is how they’ve been managing things. Or, more accurately, how they haven’t.

Take a stroll past the Koster Post Office, and you’ll get the picture. It’s been hit by vandals, left to crumble, and there are stories of locals trying to nab packages amid the chaos. Platinum Weekly set out to investigate, on Friday 15 March 2024, and found people trying to patch things up there, but it’s a bit late for band-aids.

Colonel Adéle Myburgh reports: “From April to November 2023, we’ve had a mini crime wave at the Koster Post Office, with five break-ins.” Break-in number six happened just over a week ago, but when we went to the post office to take a look… it seemed that the post office has not been in use for years. This Post Office is but one of many in South Africa being looted. Unlike most businesses, budgeting for security is maybe not the Post Office’s top priority.

And let’s not even start on how this mess is hitting everyone in the pocket, especially those relying on these services the most.

Earlier this year, communications minister Mondli Gungubele said he intends to review the South African Post Office’s monopoly on certain services, including parcel deliveries under 1kg. Gungubele said he wished to consult the public in this regard and gave interested parties until Wednesday, 6 March 2024 to submit their comments.

But here’s the problem: SAPO’s been fighting tooth and nail to keep this monopoly, all while their ships are sinking. 

Refiloe Mokiti, a local from Koster, shares their dismay: “I’ve called Koster home for five years now, and watching the post office saga unfold has been heartbreaking. It’s like nobody’s lifting a finger, and the problems just keep piling up. The post office is such a crucial part of local business. What must we do now?”


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