MyBroadband tested the South African Post Office’s parcel delivery service, and it failed dismally in keeping to its delivery target of two to five days.
We sent a package from the Baywest Mall Post Office branch in Port Elizabeth to Centurion on 21 February 2022.
To track the parcel’s journey and identify bottlenecks, we placed an IoT GPS device in the package.
It revealed that the package was transported to the SA Post Office’s Tshwane hub in seven working days.
The parcel stayed at the Tshwane hub for nearly two months without any notification to the recipient.
On 26 April, it was transported to Delmas before ending up at a Centurion Post Office branch.
However, it lost GPS connection, making it difficult to see at which Post Office branch it landed up.
The tracker showed some movement, but without a GPS signal, it remained difficult to see where the parcel was.
The problem is that there are three Post Office branches in this area, and the device’s GPS backup location tracking — tower triangulation — is not accurate enough to show which branch it is.
We visited the three Post Office branches in the area where the package is located, but we could not get it from any of them.
Two of the branches looked for the parcel when we tried to find it, but they could not find it.
The third branch refused to look for it without a tracking number. We did not receive a tracking number as it is an ordinary mail parcel.
It has been over three months since we sent the parcel, and there is no indication of when it will be delivered.
The map below shows the parcel’s journey since we dispatched it from Port Elizabeth on 21 February 2022.
Post Office comment
MyBroadband previously asked the SA Post Office about its poor delivery performance, and it said it was switching to a new service provider for its mail transport vehicles.
SA Post Office spokesperson Johan Kruger said the process should be complete by 1 April 2022. “That will restore our service to normal levels,” he said.
He added that they are implementing revised end-to-end plans designed to ensure optimum levels of service.
“We advise customers to add a cell phone number to their addresses so that the receiving post office can SMS them when an item is ready for collection,” he said.