Howard Centre Post Office to close

The post office at Howard Centre will be closing.

The post office at Howard Centre will close at the end of the month.

SA Post Office spokesman, Johan Kruger, said they were looking for somewhere suitable to relocate the branch to.

“The centre management is converting the building to host more fast-food stores and are unable to host the post office in the future,” he said.

But the centre’s Roslynn Children said the post office was going “as it continues to default on its rental obligations”.

The branch’s lease expired at the end of the month, she said.

“We will try and assist with retaining post boxes at the centre,” she said.

Ms Children said the centre had earmarked the space for a restaurant and fast-food outlets.

“We are in discussions with a number of businesses for this space,” she said.

A Mowbray resident, Bridget Stephens, is unhappy about the post office closing as she uses it regularly.

She claimed Howard Centre was no longer a convenient shopping destination but saturated with “niche” stores that did not cater for all and she now had to go from centre to centre to do her monthly shopping.

The hardware store, a bakery and reasonably priced restaurants were just some of the convenient outlets that had closed over the years, she said.

“The hardware store is now in Ndabeni, the home baking store also went and the little shops selling reasonably priced plates of food. Now we are going to lose the post office. Petrol is becoming expensive, and we have to run around from place to place to do ordinary shopping,” she said, accusing the centre management of putting profit over the needs of the community served by the centre.

But Ms Children said the centre had always had the community at its heart.

“We do not remove tenants for no reason but at times have to accept closures due to some tenants not being well supported by the shoppers.

“We openly advertise vacant space when it becomes available and welcome discussions and proposals from all retailers; independents, franchises and national businesses,” she said.