News that the Valyland post office in Fish Hoek will close on Wednesday June 15 has been met with unhappiness by the public.
SA Post Office spokesman Johan Kruger says the Valyland branch will merge with the Fish Hoek branch in Main Road.
“The merger is part of a rationalisation process where post offices in cities are merged as part of a cost-saving process.”
Earlier this year, the post office in the Shoprite Centre in Muizenberg’s Main Road closed (“End of an era for Muizenberg post office,” False Bay Echo, March 17).
Mr Kruger said at the time that the owner of the building had terminated the lease when the post office could not pay the rent.
The postboxes at the Valyland post office would be moved to the branch in Main Road, said Mr Kruger. Staff and equipment from the Valyland branch would be redeployed to other post offices in the area “to ensure that service standards remain good”.
Residents are not happy with the decision to close the post office in the heart of Fish Hoek.
Many of the post office’s customers are elderly who say it is a safe place for them to withdraw their pensions and it is also within walking distance from old age homes and other stores.
We spoke to two elderly residents who use the post office, but neither of them wanted their surnames published.
Sylvia said she felt safer using the Valyland post office. “There’s more security here, I don’t like the Main Road it’s not safe.“
In March, four men robbed the Main Road branch of an undisclosed amount of money (“Fish Hoek post office robbed,” False Bay Echo, March 17).
Barbara said she did not like the idea of having to use the Main Road branch, some 2km away, as there was no parking and there were long queues there.
“I think it’s disgusting that they can’t consider us… What are you doing to old people?”
Desmond O’Connor, a regular Valyland post-office customer, said he had always received very good service from the Valyland post office staff.
“I got personalised SMSes to say parcels have arrived. The service has always been super; there’s very seldom waiting time, its efficient and everybody is friendly. No problems.”
Kim Williams, a Valyland post office employee, said the elderly in the area and regular customers had become like family and she had personally hand-delivered letters and parcels during the day and had often spent time with the elderly who used the post office.
“People are so comfortable with us; they pay us and fetch their receipts later in the day.“
Residents have also commented on social media about the closure of the post office, with one saying: “What will happen to our mail if we have paid a full year for a post box?”
Another said: “Valyland post office has been known to me for over 20 years and has had outstanding members of staff. A huge loss to the community.”
The False Bay Echo asked about the departure of the post office from the Valyland shopping centre, the centre’s manager, Lynn Vincent, said: “It is naturally sad to lose a tenant. However, we are very excited with the replacement tenant which we think will add tremendous value to the community. We will disclose this in due course.”