Carol Paton Writer at Large

The SA Post Office has about 38-million items of mail in its depots that need sorting, more than half of which are a backlog from July’s strike. CEO Mark Barnes, though, said that he is confident it will be cleared by the end of September and that normal operations will resume. Barnes said that prior to the two-and-a-half week strike and the one week go-slow that preceded it, 87% of all mail was reaching its destination within the acceptable time frame of five days. The strike ended on July 18. "About 1-million new items come into the Post Office every day. We began two weeks ago to deal with the backlog. It will take us another 25 days, until about the end of September, to clear," he said. The Post Office has faced a litany of operational setbacks over the past year, with liquidity constraints leading to the repossession of equipment such as forklifts and vehicles and an inability to pay suppliers, for instance to print stamps. The delays caused by the strike came as the last straw...

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