Go­ing from pil­lar to post

Daily Dispatch - - Opinion -

Sadly it has be­come clear the South African postal sys­tem is un­able to ful­fill its core func­tion of de­liv­er­ing mail on time and safely. I too am a vic­tim.

I mailed a par­cel in Au­gust from the US. It was in SA within a few days. But now be­gan the most bizarre jour­ney for the item. It trav­elled from Jo­han­nes­burg to East Lon­don. From EL to King Wil­liam’s Town. But then it re­versed course back to EL and back to Jo­han­nes­burg. Then, like a lost fish in an aquar­ium tank with no sense of di­rec­tion, it went back to EL, back to King Wil liam’s Town and, af­ter some in­ter­ven­tion by a car­ing worker, it made its way to Ped­die. This process took two months.

Just when I thought noth­ing more could go wrong I spoke to the re­ceiv­ing party, only to find out that what the postal ser­vice had de­liv­ered was not the book par­cel I had mailed. It was an en­ve­lope of les­son plans I had mailed some time ago. How this be­came en­tan­gled with the book par­cel track­ing code is a mys­tery as is the where­abouts of the books in this mess.

Adding in­sult to in­jury, the Post Of­fice charged the re­cip­i­ent cus­toms fees. How do you as­sess cus­toms fees on what is essen­tially a let­ter?

You may won­der why a per­sonal bad ex­pe­ri­ence with the Post Of­fice should mat­ter. Be­cause if it hap­pens to one cus­tomer, it can hap­pen to all. Postal de­liv­ery is one of the key func­tions of gov­ern­ment be­cause it lies at the heart of our com­mu­ni­ca­tion and nour­ishes our com­mon link­ages. As peo­ple be­gin to es­tab­lish their own small and medium busi­nesses and need. Won­galetu Vanda, Email

Sim­ply a mess

I pay my mu­nic­i­pal ac­count every month af­ter it is re­ceived via my e-mail ad­dress.

I have not since 1990 been in ar­rears nor has any in­voice in­di­cated ar­rears. Yet on 5 Novem­ber 2018 I re­ceived an ‘UR­GENT NO­TICE” dated 18/10/2018 from the BCM Direc­torate of Fi­nance claim­ing I was R143-09 in ar­rears and serv­ing a (14)-Day Pre-Ter­mi­na­tion Fi­nal No­tice on my ac­count Nr 00000.

I tried to phone the num­ber 086-111-3017 which was pro­vided as a con­tact num­ber but no­body an­swered. No agent has been avail­able in the three days since I re­ceived this let­ter.

I con­tacted the lo­cal DA coun­cil­lor who as­sisted and said the of­fice of the Direc­torate of Fi­nance sends out this no­tice with­out check­ing the res­i­dent’s sta­tus. The phone num­ber he pro­vided was 043-705-3150, which had a per­ma­nent en­gaged tone.

I went in to the Gonu­bie BCM Fi­nance pay counter and the clerk told me to ig­nore the no­tice as it was sent to many res­i­dents in er­ror by some­body un­known in the Direc­torate.

Is BCM’s Fi­nance De­part­ment try­ing threats of dis­con­nect­ing ser­vices to make res­i­dents pay ex­tra? If so, this is theft. This just shows what a mess the BCM Direc­torate of Fi­nance is.

Roelf, Gonu­bie

Get cor­rupt out

The re­ports in the past two days (DD, Novem­ber 7, “Coun­cil­lors storm out of BCM meet­ing” and Novem­ber 8, “Anger at R1m for Mu­sic Awards”) of the pro­ceed­ings of the re­cent BCM spon­sor­ship com­mit­tee meet­ing look like they are ex­pos­ing back­room deals dressed up as gen­er­ous spon­sor ship pro­vided by BCM to de­serv­ing causes.

The con­cern that “the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­sists on giv­ing the same com­pa­nies huge amounts of money … it’s the same every year” goes to the heart of pa­tron­age and deals for mates which lies at the cen­tre of cor­rup­tion be­ing ex­posed for all to see in the Zondo Com­mis­sion.

It is dis­ap­point­ing, if not sur­pris­ing, that the same sort of be­hav­iour seems to be pur­sued by the ANC-led BCM. It re­minds one of the ex­posé of loot­ing recorded by Crispian Olver in his book “How to Steal a City”.

The Koko Godlo who is rec­om­mended to re­ceive an ad­di­tional R750,000 is the same per­son who, over the years (re­ported in the Dis­patch in 2015 and 2016), has been un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit for al­legedly con­duct­ing fraud­u­lent box­ing tour­na­ments and other “ghost” events. While the DA can try to hold the ANC to ac­count, there is no stop­ping cor­rup­tion if there are no con­se­quences. The ul­ti­mate sanc­tion that the peo­ple can em­ploy is to re­move the cor­rupt from of­fice and in­stall a gov­ern­ment that will prac­tise clean ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Vash Ram­sun­der, Woodleigh

Note to Writ­ers

Adding in­sult to in­jury, the Post Of­fice charged the re­cip­i­ent cus­toms fees. How do you as­sess cus­toms fees on what is essen­tially a let­ter?

SHODDY: No stamp of ap­proval

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