Frustration over closure

2018-12-11 06:00
Customers were left frustrated after the closure of the Woodstock Post Office, allegedly due to non-payment of rent.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

Customers were left frustrated after the closure of the Woodstock Post Office, allegedly due to non-payment of rent.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

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Customers were left stranded last week after the Woodstock Post Office shut its doors, allegedly due to eviction for failure to pay rent.

According to sources, the post office’s staff members were evicted from the building in Victoria Road on Tuesday 4 December.

Woodstock businessman Giovanni Camerada said he was unable to collect his parcel from overseas on Tuesday morning. He said when he arrived at the post office at 10:00, staff members were closing the doors and told him and a number of irritated residents that they would be assisted when it was reopened. “I watched them close the door and I left. My parcel is still lying there.”

When People’s Post visited the institution on the afternoon of Thursday 6 December, it was closed and there was no-one inside. An A4 page pasted on the building’s glass wall read: “We are temporarily closed due to unforeseen circumstances. Recorded mail dated as from 5 December 2018 will be held at Mowbray Post Office.”

A customer service number and an apology also appeared on the page.

Meanwhile, frustrated customers arrived at the institution’s doors, some visibly upset.

One customer who works up the road from the post office said he was there to get his fishing licence but would now have to travel to Mowbray.

Three students who were there to collect application forms for a job were likely to miss Friday’s deadline, they said.

In the less than one hour that People’s Post’s journalist was in the area, more than 10 customers turned up at the door.

A Woodstock resident who asked not to be named said he had wanted to post a parcel to the United States and collect a registered letter on behalf of his employers but could not.

Anita Somdaka, an employee in the vicinity, said she was concerned about the post office’s employees. “Does (the post office) not fall under government? It’s unfair for the people who work here. What about the people who are working for their families?”

She was visiting the post office to post a letter to her lawyers but had to take it back.

In response, Martie Gilchrist, SA Post Office spokesperson for the Eastern and Western Cape said: “The Woodstock Post Office is open again. It was closed for two days (5 and 6 December) due to a temporary cash flow problem which resulted in the landlord locking the office. The South African Post Office would like to apologise for the inconvenience to our customers­.”

People’s Post called the institution yesterday and confirmed it was open.

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