Residents stamp feet as post office fails to deliver on staff, parking promises
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”.
Despite public complaints, conditions at the Chatsworth Post Office are still shocking, says resident Latha Singh.