Open hole in wall leaves postoffice users aghast

Beacon Bay residents were outraged at the weekend when they found hundreds of postboxes open and exposed to the elements, ready to be plundered by passersby.

A gaping hole was left in the side of the Beacon Bay post office mail room where some of the boxes had been removed.

Post was strewn across the floor.

There was no security present to stop potentially valuable information and goods being stolen from the postboxes of residents.

On Monday a post office employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said the hole was the result of the post office moving to the other side of the Spargs shopping centre on Bonza Bay Road and that the renovation might be finished by next week Friday.

When the Daily Dispatch visited the post office on Monday, the gate across a passage in front of the hole was locked.

However, the gate on the other side of the building was left wide open, meaning that anyone could still gain access to the area housing the postboxes by simply walking around the building.

Beacon Bay resident Caron Williams said: “I went on Sunday at about noon to collect my post only to discover that my postbox was missing.

“I then found it in the parking lot. I was flabbergasted.

“The postboxes are very easy to open [from the back]. They just have a metal plate which slides off, and some didn’t even have that. When I looked around, I found post lying on the ground, so I put it back into a pigeon hole.”

“While I was there, another couple came. They were German and also highly upset.

“We pay a fee and this is what is done with our post.

“They should have at least put the boxes inside.

“There was no one there, not even a security guard.

“It looked like a bomb had hit the place. [Inside the mail room] there was post and documents lying all over the floor.

“There is very important information in some of those postboxes, like bank statements and BCM bills.

“It is unacceptable. I really hope someone is held accountable,” said Williams.

One of the letters found lying exposed in the car park was addressed to The Secretary, Beacon Bay Bowling Club. Errol Pitt, officer of the bowling club, said he was unaware of the situation at the post office but was concerned that there might be important information which could be lost.

Pitt said on Monday that he would quickly go to the post office to claim what belonged to the bowling club.

The manager of the post office refused to give comment and instead referred the Daily Dispatch to the area manager, Zanele Sota.

Sota confirmed that the post office was moving its premises, adding: “The construction is not done by the post office.

“It is undertaken by a private contractor.”

SA Post Office regional manager Nombulelo Ngubane said: “The Beacon Bay branch is relocating to a better position within the same complex. The move is facilitated by the landlord and will give our customers a much better experience.

“Before the postboxes were moved to their new location, the customers’ mail was removed and bundled for safekeeping.

“As a result of an oversight, some mail remained inside the removed boxes. All the mail has since then been secured.”

Ngubane said that steps had been taken to properly bundle mail for a “smooth” handover to customers. She said the building that had a section of wall removed was now “an empty shell” and did not “warrant any securing”.


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