Mail backlog: Suck it up, says NamPost

08 August 2019 | Local News

NamPost says it is not responsible for delayed delivery of mail and packages because the hold-up is caused at the South African International Mail Centre in Johannesburg.

“NamPost only operates in Namibia,” NamPost spokesperson Wilson Shikoto said on Tuesday when asked about reported delays of up to two years.

Shikoto said the Johannesburg mail hub operates all mail coming into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) from Europe, Asia, or elsewhere.

Last November the South African Post Office (SAPO) acknowledged a mail backlog, which it ascribed to a workers' strike earlier in that year.

SAPO said there was a backlog of almost 38 million pieces destined for other SADC countries. It promised to clear the backlog before the end of last year, but later said it could not do so for various reasons.

“We do not have control over the Johannesburg hub. We operate under the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which is our only recourse,” Shikoto said this week.

He said because of the backlog in Johannesburg, NamPost earlier this year decided to ferry mail by road in NamPost's own trucks because of complaints from its customers.

That is why, he said, some customers are now receiving delayed mail and parcels.

“We understand this is not a good experience, but we continuously engage UPU. One day things will get sorted out. In the meantime customers just have to wait; it is a challenge,” Shikoto said.

CATHERINE SASMAN