Can you Forward your Mail from South Africa?

When we moved away from South Africa, one of my last errands was to return my post office key. I went to the local post office in Dainfern Valley and asked how this is done.

“Oh, you just give me the key,” was the answer. “That’s it? No form to fill out? Won’t I get a receipt?” “No, you just give me the key,” at which she shoved the key into some drawer and gave me a dismissive look. Oh well. It seemed a bit irregular, but then again, I was leaving the country. And, frankly, any time you are not asked to fill out a lengthy form by a South African official, you are thrilled and don’t want to spoil your good luck by asking any more questions. So I left, and didn’t bother to ask the next obvious question, i.e. how any mail could be forwarded to our new address abroad. Leaving a hole in my meticulously assembled moving-out expat to-do list. Which is why I was so thrilled to hear that a friend of mine explored that very question when it was her turn to leave South Africa recently.  Maybe she could provide some answers. This was her conversation with the post office:

“I’d like to redirect our mail internationally from South Africa.”

“That’s not possible.”

“It’s ...  Continue Reading

I Might Have Spoken Too Soon: Fraud in the South African Postal Service

Just a humble suggestion to the South African Postal Service: Aspiring to be number 10 in the world does not sound all that ambitious, but you will never be even close to that if you cannot control rampant theft in your system! So my little experiment of sending mail to the U.S. went well, the package was delivered, and quickly at that. However, no such success the other way.

If you remember, I told you our neighbor had warned us about having foreign bank correspondence sent to our PO box, and I did indeed make a half-hearted mental note to perhaps change that, but what with other pressing to-dos and the Christmas season approaching it didn’t get much attention. As luck ...  Continue Reading