Post Office solves textbook delivery problems

2014-02-06 21:12

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Polokwane - Limpopo's education department says it's found the solution to its textbook distribution problems - the South African Post Office.

In just five weeks, postal workers managed to deliver over six million textbooks to schools across the region before schools reopened on 15 January. This is a big improvement on last year when many schools never received textbooks at all.

“Using the post office was a very effective approach and in a very short space of time we managed to deliver books to all our schools in the province. At the times schools opened, we were at 99%.

"[We are] now like a born again department, with no hassles or shortages of learning equipment like last year. We consider this approach as the way to go in future,” said provincial education spokesperson Phuti Seloba on Thursday.

He said that because the post office is a government institution, it means that government, on its own, had delivered services.

Seloba said the department didn't use any middle men or private companies to help with deliveries.

Instead, books were ordered directly from publishers and delivered straight to their warehouse in Limpopo. From there, the books were delivered straight to schools.

“The only private entity which was involved were the publishers of the books. All the rest was done by the department and the post office,” said Seloba.

Managing director of logistics at the South African Post Office, Molefe Mathibe, confirmed the post office delivered six million text books to 3 928 schools in the province in a space of five weeks.

He attributed the success of the exercise to the post office's extensive network which extends into isolated communities.

He said the post office planned to diversity its sources of income, instead of relying on mail only.

"The delivery of textbooks forms part of these plans to diversify,” said Mathibe.

SAPO chairperson Dr Hlamani Manzini said in a statement that Limpopo covers almost 124 000km² and that some schools could only be reached by off-road vehicles.

He said the text book delivery project created temporary jobs for 240 people in the province.

"They acted as drivers, team leaders, data captures, pickers, checkers and sorters," he said.

Read more on:    sapo  |  limpopo  |  education

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