The national postal service is looking for alternate accommodation after their office in Rocklands was gutted in a fire in December.
Other South African Post Office (SAPO) branches have closed because the parastatal had been unable to cover rent payments (“Strandfontein Post Office closed”, Plainsman February 17, 2021).
Last week, mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis wrote to the national postal service objecting to the closure of its Mitchell’s Plain branches.
In his letter he calls for an urgent meeting to discuss possible solutions.
“Mitchell’s Plain has many thousands of residents who rely on the SAPO for their mail and withdrawal of their South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grants. This decision will have serious negative consequences for local residents,“ said Mr Hill-Lewis.
He said it was unacceptable that Mitchell’s Plain residents were simply being referred to the closest branch located some 20 kilometres away.
“My hope is that we can agree that SAPO must open at least one of their branches in Mitchell’s Plain,” he said.
Mr Hill-Lewis said that residents were already struggling with the rising cost of living.
“Travelling 20 kilometres to the nearest post office is a big ask,” he said.
SAPO spokesman Johan Kruger said the state owned enterprise was looking for alternate accommodation.
He acknowledged receipt of the mayor’s letter and confirmed that there were no post office services in Mitchell’s Plain.
He said the nearest post offices to Mitchell’s Plain would be in Grassy Park, Gatesville and Lansdowne.
“The Caravelle post office is closed because of fire damage to the shopping centre where it is housed.
“SAPO is looking for alternative accommodation,” said Mr Kruger.
There are six post offices in the greater Cape Town area under consideration for merging with other branches.
Mr Kruger said it was only in the Western Cape where motorists could not renew their car licences; that elsewhere in the country many offices serve as collection points for chronic medication of patients of government clinics, where the patient finds the local post office more convenient.
“If post offices in the Western Cape are able to offer these services, it will go a long way to increase their relevance and to make them financially more viable,” he said.
Mr Kruger said that they were looking forward to engaging the mayor in this regard, because a partnership between the post office and local government had proven to be beneficial to all parties in the other eight provinces.