Makhanda and surrounding areas have been without any post office for three months, and it is unclear when and if the post office will reopen. The Siphiwo Mazwayi post office closed a year ago and now has a for sale sign up. In September, Ground Up reported that the Hill Street post office closed on 25 July due to non-payment of rent.
The South African Post Office is in business rescue with Anoosh Rooplal and Juanito Damons supervising the process.
This week Rooplal told GroundUp that there was no clear indication on the future of the Makhanda post office and the practitioners are still busy defining which branches will be reopened and which permanently closed.
Rooplal said they are aware of many branches that are not operational due to rent or electricity not being paid. There had also been burglaries at the Hill Street post office.
Some residents told GroundUp that postal workers said their parcels had gone missing in the burglaries.
The nearest functioning post office is 60km away in Port Alfred.
Amos Manyati, from Glenmore village, about 45km from Makhanda, said he was spending R250 to fetch his social grant at Port Alfred. His wife and two grandchildren all depend on his grant.
“Just imagine what I could have done with that amount of money if the Makhanda post office was working?” he said.
Nolubabalo Petros, from Joza location Makhanda, said she goes to Qonce (King Williams Town) to transact with her Post Bank account. The round trip costs her R200. She said Qonce is preferable because of the very long queues at Port Alfred.
Rooplal said the business rescue plan was due to be published on 30 November and it would address “a number of considerations, including cost initiatives, strategic direction, additional revenue streams and of course capital requirements”.
This article was first published by Ground Up.