‘We are still not there but we see light’ — Sapo on clearing mail backlogs

The South African Post Office (Sapo) says it is dealing with a local mail backlog of about 4.8 million items – but the international figure is much higher.

However, the precise nature of the international backlog is unclear.

Sapo has been working hard to clear the accumulation after a strike about four months ago led to a backlog of almost 38 million parcels and letters.

“From a local perspective, we are down to 4.8 million items in the backlogs,” CEO Mark Barnes said.

Barnes added that they were expecting to have the backlog cleared by end of November. 

He said although the Sapo previously promised that the backlog would be cleared by the end of September and again in October, they could not meet their promises for various reasons.

“International mail is a little bit more complex because we are seeing an influx and a high volume of items being ordered online and those goods require a lot of servicing,” said Barnes.

He said in some instances, Sapo had to manually intervene by checking invoices and counter parcels. That also caused a backlog in international mail.

Barnes said the post office was prioritising items, from those that were “more urgent ” to those which weren’t priority mail.

“With mails such as things like magazines and so, you would expect the backlog to be more,” he said.

He said staff members were doing their best to catch up, especially because of the peak, Christmas season.

“For us, Christmas starts at around October and runs through to January. That’s our peak four months of the year.

“We have kind of improved the situation from April by 90%. We are still not there but we see light…,” he said.

To assist with the crisis, Barnes said the Sapo had deployed more resources by beefing up regional managers and it paid up all its suppliers.

“We are in discussions internationally with having more than one point of entry into SA and not have everything coming to us. If things are destined for Kwazulu-Natal, we are trying to root them straight into Durban rather than [having] them coming through our terminals,” he said.

He added that the department was also deploying people to assist in mail centres every Friday. — News24

Advertisting

My hardest story: Reporting on being queer in Tunisia

Reporting on queer issues is always tough. But Tunisia was something else

South Africa could use a communist party

The SACP is not building socialism, or even social democracy. Sadly, it has become just another party advancing the politics of patronage

Miners speak out against Sibanye

Not a year into buying Lonmin, Sibanye is accused of mistreating the mineworkers who were injured eight years ago during the Marikana massacre. But the platinum giant says it is a miscommunication. Athandiwe Saba and Paul Botes visit Marikana to find out the truth
Advertising

Press Releases

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

The changing role of marketing

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...