The Mowbray post office, at St Peter’s Square in Observatory, has been closed until further notice over unpaid rent, leaving residents asking how they’re supposed to get their mail.
“The Observatory branch is temporarily closed due to lease obligations not being met,” said SA Post Office spokesman Johan Kruger.
In April, MyBroadband reported that the SA Post Office was in deep financial trouble and that with municipal and landlord debt around R305 million, landlords were kicking branches out of premises, branches were closing and 14 postal agency properties were being put up for auction.
The closure of the Mowbray branch saw residents taking to Facebook to find out where they were now meant to go to send and receive post.
“Does anyone know where the Mowbray post office is? Its website says St Peter’s Square, but it does not appear to be there anymore,” said one.
Another wrote, “Anyone know which post office nearest to us is operating? The one at St Peter’s Square is closed until further notice. I called Rondebosch, but it says the number does not exist.”
Stephen van der Spuy, 74, of Observatory, said he had gone to the post office last month only to find it closed.
After inquiring about the post, he was redirected to the Rondebosch mailing depot, but when he got there, he was told the post was still at the Mowbray branch.
“I’ve been waiting to collect an important letter but have been told the post is locked inside Mowbray. I’ve been living in Observatory for 70 years, and we always had a post office. With the Woodstock branch that is also closed, it makes it harder for us to collect our post,” he said.
Mr Van der Spuy said the only option now for residents was Clareinch or Maitland or Cape Town which was out of the way for residents, especially those who had to use public transport.
“This is a tragic situation and just shows how things have deteriorated in our country. I hope the situation can be resolved and that we do not lose this post office also,” he said.
Mr Kruger said that while the post continued to be delivered within normal time frames, the landlord had denied the SA Post Office access to the Mowbray post office, leaving some items locked in that branch.
The Woodstock branch had closed when selected post offices had been merged during August 2021, with all operations moved to the Mowbray branch, he said.
“Observatory mail will be redirected to the Rondebosch depot where customers can collect it,” he said.
Residents can call the Rondebosch depot at 021 685 6893 to enquire about their post.
The Tatler could not reach management at St Peter’s Square by time of publication.