Covid takes deadly toll of Post Office workers

Mkhuseli Sizani

While health workers are considered the most vulnerable people who work with the public, Covid has also taken a deadly toll of Post Office workers.

Over 1,000 Post Office workers have been infected with Covid-19 and more than 30 have died. 

Johan Kruger, the national Sapo spokesperson said during December branches of the Post Office paid out R2,7 million for Covid-19 relief grants nationally.

“This has put pressure on employees but they are coping,” he said. 

“In human terms, the Post Office has seen 1,191 cumulative positive Covid-19 cases, 39 deaths and 941 employees have recovered.” 

Eunice September, 32, of Chatty, Port Elizabeth told Scrolla.Africa the poor service at the post offices forces them to come back for their money because the queues are not properly managed.

“We queue outside from as early as 3am because we want to be first in line when the Post Office opens at 8am,” she said.

The Post Office introduced a booking system to minimise the overcrowding and beneficiaries are paid on different days according to the last three digits on their ID documents. 

Christopher Kayster of Booysens Park said, “I used to get my grant at West End Post Office but it has been closed since September. But when I get to the post office in Korsten it is already full. Many people ignore the booking system and force their way into the building because the booking system is not effective. There is no social distance and some of the people are not wearing the masks properly.”

He said they are scared of Covid-19.

“But we are also frustrated because we go home without receiving the money while there is no food at home,” he said.