Post Office operations resume under Level 4 Lockdown
The SA Post Office (SAPO) notifies its customers and the general public that while it has been offering some services during the lockdown, it will be implementing full services from Monday 25 May 2020 for services permitted under the Risk Adjusted Regulations in line with the Covid-19 Level 4.
Mail is starting to flow again as sorting facilities, transport and branches of the SA Post Office have been granted permission to operate under the provisions of Lockdown Level 4. The majority of Post Office branches are open for business and a phased approach is adopted for the reopening of the remaining branches immediately as soon as measures to ensure their compliance with the regulations have been implented. Sorting facilities nationally as well as transport connections are operational again.
"The total branch network available as of the 25th May will be 1017 branches nationwide, with operations in the remainder of our branch network brought online in a phased approach as and when we complete implementing measures to ensure that we comply with regulations promulgated to combat the spread of the virus. We envisage that all our branches will be fully operational by 1 June 2020," says Ivumile Nongogo, SAPO Acting CEO.
SAPO has deployed a systemised restricted hours' shift system in the sorting centres in order to comply with the regulations restricting the number of employees allowed on the premises at any one time to observe social distancing requirements.
Therefore, while the shifts have been introduced to maximise production as well as adherence to the regulations, operations are not currently running at optimal level and this will impact delivery turnaround times of parcels, including items that accumulated prior to the lockdown. "Indications are that we should deliver the accumulated items that were held up during lockdown within the next three weeks. We appeal to our customers for their patience as we are navigating these unchartered times," says Nongogo.
Customers are able to check the status of their items using the Post Office's tracking service. Customers contact points that were previously suspended during the Level 5 lockdown, including the Customer Service Desk (0860 111 502) will resume.
During the Level 4 lockdown, services available in Post Office branches nationwide include account payment, collection and delivery of parcels, posting of parcels, and certifying documents. As cargo flights to and from other countries are still very scarce, at the moment SAPO is able to move mail and parcels to and from Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal, Thailand and China.
SAPO courier services as well as the delivery of legal documents via DOCEX are also available. Financial services, including money transfer and Postbank transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, card replacements and general enquiries can be performed.
The renewal of motor vehicle licenses is earmarked to resume on 1 June 2020.
Services related to the SASSA social grants payments, statements and balance enquiries, including PIN and card replacement continue to be available. To reduce costs burdens for SASSA beneficiaries and to eliminate unnecessary social contact, SAPO has also introduced a USSD service to allow SASSA beneficiaries to check their account balance remotely from their cell phones.
To perform this transaction at a cost of R0,60c, which is below the normal bank interchange balance enquiry at an ATM, a SASSA social grants beneficiary must follow the following easy steps on their cellphone: Dial *120*3210# and press enter. Then, put in your ID number and press enter again to see the account balance.
SAPO says that it is also piloting a project to roll-out cashless ATMs as additional transacting points of access for communities that normally would require to travel to access financial services. The beneficiaries will be able to access the ATMs from selected small traders located in their communities. Local traders, including especially spaza shops, which are interested in offering this service should send an email to email@example.com.
SAPO thanks its customers for their patience and understanding during the period of suspension of its services due to the national lockdown.