Carol Paton Writer at Large

The SA Post Office (Sapo) says it has cleared the huge backlog that has built up over the year, and that the delivery of domestic mail has now been normalised, which means items should be delivered within five days of being posted. The delays in delivery have attracted furious criticism from the public. The backlog built up after a strike in July and because of the organisation’s financial difficulties, which led suppliers to withdraw critical equipment such as vehicles and forklifts over delayed payments. When the strike ended in July, 48-million items required sorting. CEO Mark Barnes said on Thursday "the issues have now been addressed and the backlog is resolved". Delivery fleets have been restored and the Post Office has benefited from a capital allocation of R2.9bn to fund its operations and settle amounts owed to suppliers, Barnes said. He had previously promised that the backlog would be cleared by the end of September.

In a statement, Sapo said that it "deeply regrett...

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