Res­i­dents stamp feet as post of­fice fails to de­liver on staff, park­ing prom­ises

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

CHATSWORTH res­i­dents are still wait­ing for im­proved ser­vices and con­di­tions at the post of­fice fol­low­ing a pub­lic out­cry about the state of the branch ear­lier this year.

It is one of the big­gest branches in the Dur­ban area, ser­vic­ing an es­ti­mated 200 000 peo­ple liv­ing in Chatsworth and sur­round­ing ar­eas, in­clud­ing Shall­cross, Khar­wastan, Umh­latuzana and Welbe­dacht.

In Fe­bru­ary, City Watch pub­lished a story about poor ser­vice and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tions at the branch.

Res­i­dents, as well as sev­eral em­ploy­ees, had com­plained about the short­age of pub­lic park­ing bays, an over­grown lawn and un­kempt of­fices, faulty air-con­di­tion­ing and a short­age of tellers. At the time, Post Of­fice spokesper­son Nobuhle Njapha said it was an NPO with lim­ited fi­nan­cial re­sources. How­ever, she promised read­ers that the short­age of staff would be ad­dressed in the near fu­ture. She also said ar­range­ments would be made to mow lawns and trim trees.

“It is worth point­ing out that the main­te­nance is done by post of­fice vol­un­teers. Re­gard­ing the short­age of staff, lo­cal man­age­ment is al­lo­cat­ing em­ploy­ees in the area to the busiest branches, us­ing in­for­ma­tion about trans­ac­tion vol­umes and wait­ing times. We have also noted large in­creases in the num­ber of cus­tomers do­ing car li­cence re­newals and re­ceiv­ing in­ter­na­tional items,” said Njapha. Last week, a con­cerned res­i­dent Latha Singh wrote to City Watch, ad­vis­ing that “noth­ing has changed” at the post of­fice.

“First, the air con­di­tion­ing still doesn’t work. Sec­ond, only one per­son was han­dling (car) li­cens­ing. Third, the end­less queue to the gen­eral counter was ser­viced by only two peo­ple.”

Singh said the tem­per­a­ture in­side was also un­bear­able.

“I needed to buy my car li­cence. After three trips and find­ing the queues end­less, I fi­nally was forced to fol­low the queue to pur­chase my li­cence. A wait of 53 min­utes.

“Al­though I was there at 9.15am, the in­side was like a fur­nace. The large fan at the en­trance does noth­ing other than blow hot air as one en­ters. There are no win­dows or any other sources of ven­ti­la­tion.

“I feel for the staff and more for the peo­ple, young, old and disabled,” said Singh, adding pub­lic park­ing “con­tin­ued to be a night­mare”.

PIC­TURE: SIBONISO MNGADI

De­spite pub­lic com­plaints, con­di­tions at the Chatsworth Post Of­fice are still shock­ing, says res­i­dent Latha Singh.

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