1000 Ways the Post Office Doesn’t Want You Use Them

One older comedian asked a young comic, “Are you married?” The younger comic replied “no!” Astonished, the older comedian said, “then what do you for aggravation!”

While married people in the world have one another for their daily dosage of aggravation, in South Africa everyone gets it from the government and State Owned Enterprises.

We have an oversupply.

Our government makes sure our daily dosage is well catered: inaccurate to insane water and electricity bills, Nkandla, state capture, etc. Good service delivery on the part of our government!

Even the president gets his daily dosage of aggravation. Somewhere last year in parliament, he said he gets “abused” each time he is there. “Instead of answering questions‚ I am called a criminal … a thief…” “It is very difficult to me to do my constitutional duty‚” ” …If this House is not interested in me answering questions‚ then don’t call me.”

It is an Oprah-mania of aggravation: You get aggravation, you get aggravation, EVERYONE GETS AGGRAVATION.

Often times the South African Post Office grinds my, ehh ehh, my broken toe nail. The one closest to me didn’t have a stamp for a whole month. I do not know how they are doing now – I haven’t been there in a while.

I just feel sad for the thousand of post office employees who are always scared that their jobs are in jeopardy because the employer’s business is always on the edge of retrenching – because of apparent bad market conditions.

It is maybe because their bosses over the years – the executive and board, have proved nothing but that they are unqualified to run a ‘should be’ savvy business.

I heard the new CEO, Mark Barnes, on Bruce Whitfield’s radio show. I like the guy. He was self deprecating and I thought that was kool. Seems like he can turn it around – he has a background with ‘that thing’.

The courier business in South Africa is on a boom, and has been for a few years now. Even courier aggregators are cropping up. Only the apparent market conditions affect the South African Post Office.

There are thousands of online only stores in the country, with hundreds emerging every year, who use courier services to get goods to customers. Conventional businesses have long ago extended to online and are improving and growing with it. More and more retailers are still getting into it.

Yet the post office is refusing to get a piece of their couriering pie.

SAPO is arguably the cheapest and with a wide reach in all communities, importantly in rural areas.

I am involved with businesses that use couriers to deliver stock directly to customers. Using the post office is always a dread we avoid, even if it means paying R25 extra on a parcel. Using SAPO gives us a lot of unnecessary manual work.

I still use it. I’m hereby a complaining customer.

Here the 1000 reasons the Post Office don’t want us to use them.

You have to walk to them to get quotations (and everything)

In this age where the internet provides efficiency and convenience of getting prices online and instantly, with almost all courier companies having online billing calculators, the SAPO doesn’t.

SAPO websites hangs and takes ages to open. And it has nothing. You will get nothing also from the call centre.

Non functioning website

As said above.

No functioning call centre

I said above.

Good luck if you want to query anything with regard to your parcel. I think only their Speed Services Couriers telephone line works.

A few of our parcels where stuck with Speed Services Couriers, past their 48 hours, into more days. Their call centre could never pick up what was wrong. It was only when we tagged them on Facebook that our parcels mysteriously emerged.

Cash only accepted when renewing car license discs

Yeah! It sucks.

Most times they do not have envelopes

I am kidding about envelopes. But they never have padded envelopes posting parcels with.

Do they sell airtime

I want them to sell airtime. Do they?

They don’t collect parcels from your door

I want my parcels to be collected from my home or office by SAPO. So does a lot of people.

Every courier does this, but not the SAPO.

No online integration

It would be nice to have the SAPO as one of the couriers that, in an easy plugin, integrate with popular online store platforms like Shopify and Woocommerce.

You have a better chance of winning their lottery than the SAPO implementing this.

Post Bank

The Post Bank should be the success that Capitec Bank is.

Other lacking but crucial intricacies

Would it not be wonderful if you got to a post office to drop off a parcel, and all you had to do was not fill in forms but just produce a waybill number that you filled on their website at home? It would be just scanned and your parcel posted. The customer and teller’s work load and time would be saved.

Then you and the person to whom you posted the parcel to get notified via SMS and/or email when it reaches their nearest post office.

Small businesses and individuals could open accounts with them and electronically transfer money into the accounts – instead of always paying at the Post Office.

All these will create less work for Post Office employees. As a result of that, more products can be introduced, e.g. processing ID copy registrations, back to school stationery parcels, different banking products and processing certain tasks for companies to their clients – such as accepting the buying of shares (like they did with MTN a few years ago), and so many other profitable products.

There are so many but easy ways the SAPO’s service offerings could be made intuitive, savvy and innovative.


The Post Office performs vital tasks for the citizens. Unfortunately it is in shambles whilst it should be contributing to the efficiency and thus development of this country.

It is hard to measure the amount of economic opportunity lost and the harm created, other than retrenchments and monetary value lost to labour brokers.

SAPO is crucial for individuals and business, especially small business.

The state of SAPO is what happens when governing political parties are weakened morally, ethically and best-practice wise. Unqualified individuals are appointed to State Owned Enterprises. You won’t see any innovation and efficiency but looting disguised as development and dire market conditions.

– –

Building a decent post office website would cost between R50 000 to R200 000. Yet we know parastatals and government departments would spend millions for such.