Stuart Lowman’s Inbox: Postal services should not be the monopoly of the Post Office

Yesterday’s contribution from John Freeman on the Post Office drew many response. Hans Ittmann adds his personal experience to the mix, given his passion for collector items:

As a collector of stamps, coins, banknotes and books I have to use the Post Office, unfortunately. The digital era, and specifically e-commerce, allows one to order collector’s items from all over the world and this is wonderful. However the Post Office and their pathetic service is a major obstacle in getting stuff. Here are some examples of what I have experienced myself.

Stamps sent from Windhoek, Namibia took four months to reach me in Pretoria and it took two months for a registered item from Durban to get to me. Nowadays registered postal items are not properly tracked by the Post Office because the items are not scanned regularly and then the Post Office system does not work.

An item from Israel that I ordered is shown by an international tracking system to have left the Johannesburg International Mail Centre (JIMC) on 18 August 2021, yesterday the Post Office could not tell me where the item is.

I used to order many books from The Book Depository, an online bookstore in the UK, that delivers books worldwide for free and it used to take on average 10 days to reach me. With great hesitation I ordered a book again at the beginning of June and, low and behold, I have not received it.

Yes, one can use couriers but it becomes very expensive. Recently, I ordered a set of 4 stamps that I purchased for 0.99 Pounds, it is the last set that I need to complete a collection.To get it sent by registered mail, so I can track it, was going to cost 7.75 Pounds which is crazy to pay for an inexpensive item. It is now being sent by standard mail but I have great concerns that it will ever reach me.

Postal services should not be the monopoly of the Post Office, especially for small items, the private sector should take this over completely.

Yesterday, Paul Fouche asked why the ANC wasn’t criminally charged for not paying staff taxes to SARS. Adamus Stemmet, spokesperson for the Association of Monitoring and Advocacy of Government Pensions, said the answer was simple:

Because they are the ANC! Cadres do not charge cadres.

And following on this discussion Tim Elliot adds his views on the inaction:

Many South Africans are numbed by the endless reports of brazen corruption and theft by those in political power at both national and local level. Ramaphosa continues to trumpet that his ANC Government will bring an end to this unforgivable plunder. But nothing really happens. The SIU are literally drowning in the number of cases they need to investigate. But; here’s the conundrum. By way of example; the SIU hands their report on the Digital Vibes/Mkhize case to Ramaphosa sometime in July. What has happened since? Nothing. Silence. Which raises another key question; has the NPA closed its doors? This taxpayer funded organisation is there to protect all South Africans from the very theft and corruption drowning and destroying this country. And yet, the silence from the NPA is deafening. This organisation should be compelled to provide updates on their work to the nation to whom they are accountable. The Justice system is a shambles largely dealing with ludicrous ANC leaders’ legal battles. How many NPA dockets are the courts sitting on? All the while many honest, tax paying citizens despair as the fog of inaction and non-accountability intensifies daily.

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