The South African Post Office (SAPO) has a reputation of very poor service levels, which includes slow delivery times, lost packages, website downtime, and poor communication with clients.
In fact, the Post Office has become so poor that many South Africans avoid using the service unless they have no other choice.
Despite the problems, SAPO CEO Mark Barnes recently punted the performance of his organisation, saying 87% of all mail was reaching its destination within the acceptable time frame of five days.
He blamed recent delivery problems on a strike at the Post Office, which ended on 18 July 2018.
What the Post Office promises
The Post Office’s licence conditions, which are set by ICASA, require it to achieve a 92% rate of delivering ordinary mail within five days.
The SA Post Office also lists the expected service levels on its website.
- Letters generally take two days within the same town or city to reach their destination, three days between two cities in the same province, and four days between cities in different provinces.
- Fastmail is a letter service in South Africa with a one-day delivery standard in the same city or town, a two-day delivery standard for all other destinations.
These service levels set clear benchmarks of what South Africans can expect of the Post Office – and MyBroadband tested these benchmarks.
Post Office test
Over the last month, MyBroadband tested SAPO’s ordinary mail and Fastmail services.
For the test, MyBroadband members sent letters from across South Africa to the Lyttelton Post Office, and we tracked how long these letters took to arrive.
The results showed that the Post Office failed to meet a single of its requirements – it had a 100% failure rate for both Fastmail and ordinary mail.
While all the Fastmail letters were delivered within three weeks, not one of the letters met the 2-day delivery promise.
The situation with ordinary mail was even worse. Only half of the letters arrived within a month, and it is unclear when the other half will arrive.
The Post Office silent on delivery problems
MyBroadband contacted the Post Office regarding the letter delivery problems, but the company did not provide feedback on our questions.
The Post Office also did not answer questions about its Fastmail service.
Post Office test results
The graphic below provides an overview of the results of MyBroadband’s Post Office Test.