Where is my Christmas mail?

Paddy McPherson, Bergvliet

I am fed up because, having lived in various places in the world at Christmas time, I receive cards and letters keeping me in touch with dear friends. This year, I emailed as many friends as I could but it still left a lot of people, particularly in Canada and America whom I could not contact. I know that a lot of people in England, New Zealand, etc. write me once a year as well.

What I want to know is where is all my Christmas mail? What has the Joburg post office done with incoming overseas mail, and why is it not not delivered? Christmas is a special time for every one, so why are the postal workers spoiling it for many in this country?

I happen to know that it is not the fault of the local post office, but Johannesburg, so what can be done?

The SA Post Office responds: Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your reader’s letter.

It is heart-warming to see that the postal system keeps your reader in touch with her loved ones abroad. We believe that an electronic message will never have the emotional value of a physical item sent through the mail system.

The international mail system was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent international restrictions on trade and travel.

Mail is transported mainly by air and international flights have been severely reduced. As a result, mail often accumulates at airports until it can be airlifted. When aeroplanes become available, they fill up quickly, and there is always mail left over that has to wait for the next flight – which is quite likely to be cancelled or postponed.

This also makes crewing at receiving sorting centres difficult. Mail arrives in big, unpredictable volumes and this, in turn, leads to longer processing times.

We would like to assure your reader that her mail will be delivered, even if it takes longer than usual. We would also like to appeal to our customer to bear with us during these unpredictable times. At the same time, we want to thank them for their patience.