Parcels in limbo at closed Table View post office

Table View post office in Parklands Main Road was closed at the end of June last year, following a rental dispute with the landlord.

The unexpected closure of the Table View post office eight months ago has left customers baffled because most of the parcels are still locked inside the branch on Parklands Main Road

The SA Post Office has landed in deep financial trouble, with landlords kicking the parastatal out of branches and branches closing, across the country, owing a R304 million municipal and landlord debt. Some of the SA Post Office’s owned branches are being sold and auctioned off.

Customers at the Table View branch say its closure came as a surprise as there were no prior warnings or notices put up, and some say they renewed their annual rental for postboxes just days earlier.

Sidney Abrahams sent Tabletalk emails he sent to the post office, dating back to November last year.

In the emails he begs the post office to “not hold his packages and personal belongings hostage”.

Mr Abrahams said he had been unable to get a package that arrived for him in May 2021. He wants the post office to either release the package or refund him the 273,58 euros (R4300) he spent.

He was told that the post office would remain closed until further notice.

Mr Abrahams said he was worried about security at the post office as he had seen no one guarding the branch.

Tammy Breytenbach said the postboxes she paid for had vanished, and the post office had not replied to her calls. “Where is our post? We don’t know,” she said.

Bernard Slinger said the post office was the only way his family and friends from around the world could make contact with him, even in this digital age.

SA Post Office spokesman Johan Kruger said its income had taken a beating from the Covid-19 pandemic and it had turned to the government for support because it could only partly service its debt.

The Table View branch had been closed by the landlord at the end of June last year, following a “rental dispute”, he said. The nearest alternative post office is the Chempet branch 5km away.

“The landlord has not given us access to retrieve the items inside the branch. The post office remains in negotiation with the landlord regarding this matter, which is also a contravention of the Post Office Act,” said Mr Kruger.

The public had been notified of the closure by a notice on the door and social media posts, he said.

Mr Kruger said the R350 special Covid relief grant could now be collected from Pick n Pay, Boxer, Checkers, Shoprite and Usave supermarkets in the area.

“Customers who prefer to collect their grant from a post office can use the Chempet post office in the meantime,” he added.

The branch was in a secured complex, he said, adding that although there were no security guards, there had been no break-in attempts.

The post office would reopen as soon as there was an agreement with the landlord, he said.

Milprops 365, a property investment company, which the post office has been renting from, did not respond to any emails sent by us. When Tabletalk called their offices, they said they preferred responding by email but they did not do so by deadline.