The SA Post Office has temporarily suspended operations at the Witspos mail sorting centre in Johannesburg after several employees were exposed to a hazardous substance.
“At approximately 19:00 last night, a parcel originating from outside of South Africa containing a white powdery substance was reported in one of the sections of the Witspos mail processing centre,” the Post Office said.
“Following the cordoning off of the area for investigation, it emerged that 18 of our employees that have come into contact with the item had taken ill and they were immediately sent to hospital.”
Processing operations were suspended as a precautionary measure to protect the safety and welfare of employees, the Post Office said.
All of the affected employees have since received treatment and been discharged from hospital.
Area being rehabilitated
The Post Office stated that the police and the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services were on site on Thursday night to assist.
“Bio-management and environmental teams are currently rehabilitating the working area and it is anticipated that operations will resume in the next 24 hours,” the Post Office said.
It pleaded for the patience of customers as all deliveries outbound from the Witspos mail centre are expected to be delayed by 24 hours.
The Post Office reminded South Africans that it is unlawful to post any illegal, hazardous, or poisonous substance.