Address for Everyone – this is what South Africa’s leading political opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) calls its newly-launched campaign, which it said aims to provide every household in black poor neighbourhoods of the Gauteng region with a postal address.
The announcement was made by DA Gauteng leader Jack Bloom this week.
Bloom said he paid R5000 (555 USD) on its money to help members of the Informal Settlements Network (ISN) build the concrete platform that was needed for the Post Office to place the post-boxes.
The first post-box container has been placed at the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Ekurhuleni (south Germiston area, East Rand), where he is said to have assisted in setting up the post boxes.
“It is very important for everyone to have an address so that they can receive mail, open a bank account, get credit and comply with RICA requirements for a cellphone number,” he said in a statement.
“The lives of people in informal settlements will be greatly assisted by having a post box address. I have been told how relatives of prisoners have not been informed of their death in prison or opportunities for parole because they cannot get mail.”
“The South African Post Office is obliged by law to provide a postal address for everyone, but their budget for this has been slashed. They will provide a post box container for a large informal settlement but only if a concrete platform is made for it.
“This is unfortunately unaffordable for people in informal settlements, so they miss out unfairly on a postal address.”
The DA said it will raise this matter in Parliament and also raise donations for concrete platforms to be built in other informal settlements so they too can get post boxes as in Ramaphosa.
There are now 870 post boxes for the people who live in Ramaphosa, changing their lives for the better, the DA said.
*Photo surced from Geocaching. Aset of Post Office boxes in South Africa.