I came across the quote “Everyday we deliver a little more a little faster” in a South African post office yesterday. I almost burst out laughing, wanting to add “…because we are soooooo slow and deliver soooooo little so there is much room to grow,” or wanting to change it to “we need to deliver a LOT more a LOT faster.” At least it seems to acknowledge the problem: A lot doesn’t get delivered, and if it does, it’s not fast.
Then I saw Global Weather Delays Mail on the SAPO website, talking about how they were busy all of January delivering backed-up packages from when the severe winter weather in Europe and the USA caused huge delays in their South-African-bound mail. “It wasn’t our fault,” this article says, “it was just their weather; but we are very good at now cleaning up their mess.” What a convenient excuse, I am thinking, to blame other countries’ weather on the failure to deliver mail in South Africa. We never got some Christmas presents that were sent to us from Holland in November, and I have many friends here who were complaining that they received no mail whatsoever in January, domestic or otherwise. When we lived in America, our mail was almost never late, even in the thickest snow storm. At most, you’d get a day’s delay, and maybe this winter was particularly bad, but I’m sure the mail didn’t linger there for months.
Let’s face it, the South African mail service is neither safe nor fast, and if they only “deliver a little more a little faster” each and every day, it will take about ten years to finally be on par with what we are so used to in the Western world. But: Their stamps are beautiful!