Joburg Expat: "Everyday we Deliver a Little More a Little Faster"

February 18, 2011

"Everyday we Deliver a Little More a Little Faster"

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!

5 comments :

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

Just one of those things you learn to live with as an expat. In most foreign countries I have lived in there was no mail delivery at all. Not surprising, because there were no real street addresses either!

Bing said...

They took 2 months to deliver a Christmas present and we received it February. I guess that's not too bad.. maybe next time we can expect to receive it in 1.5 months' time. Hahahaa!

Sine said...

Aha, so maybe I shouldn't give up hope on those Christmas presents yet...

W. A. Jeffrey said...

I keep wondering what mail delivery was like under minority rule but to even broach the subject makes a person look bad as if they are trying to make a racial point. In my case it is just a general curiosity. No axe to grind!

Sine said...

I don't have any data on this but have also wondered. Most whites who have left SA will tell you that every kind of service functioned much better under the old system. In the case of the postal service they are probably right. But it would indeed be interesting to track the decline, if it was indeed better before, and see how exactly it got so bad, and also whether it has gotten better again. My friend in SA just now sent her Christmas cards, so it will be interesting to see how long they take. Though sending them out is so much better than receiving mail. You'll see my blog post on my Christmas card experiment at some point in time:-) But I'm not sending any this year. Taking a Christmas card sabbatical and thinking of taking up the "Grinch stealing the light chain" idea I saw on Pinterest.