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Photos of undelivered mail in South African Post Office centre not from 2018

This article is more than 5 years old

Showing piles and piles of mail items, a widely-shared Facebook post claimed the pictures were taken at the South African Post Office’s Johannesburg international mail centre.

The post was published on 11 November 2018. This implied that the piles of mail were related to recent reports of a backlog following a nationwide strike by postal workers in July 2018.  

Africa Check traced the images to a 10 March 2015 Facebook post by Werner Leonard, who was waiting for a mail item at the time.

“It was a post that I shared from another source and yes, it was in 2015,” Leonard told Africa Check. (Note: Postal workers went on a 14-week strike from August to December 2014.)

Photos not of current backlog

Post Office spokesperson Johan Kruger confirmed that the photos in the post showed the Johannesburg centre, but said they weren’t current.

Sbu Xaba, Post Office operations head, told Africa Check their countrywide backlog as of 16 November 2018 was 3.2 million articles of post.

“What is the cause of the current backlog? A shortage of tools of the trade, which was mainly a delay in the changeover on the fleet contracts for delivery vehicles, and the brief strike during July 2018,” he said.

“On international mail, we are now experiencing extremely high incoming volumes and we expect to be up to standard there again early in 2019.”

Africa Check asked to visit the Johannesburg centre to verify recent images showing a much emptier warehouse, but our request was denied due to security concerns. - Tshiamo Malatji (23/11/2018)

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