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South African Post Office mail tampering

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We occasionally send cards to family in Cape Town.  Recently we sent a Happy Halloween card, it took 21 days to get there. My family reported back that the envelope had been cut open in the one side and then resealed with clear tape..?? Obviously the SA post office employees are opening up cards looking for money to steal.  We never send money.  

Just a warning to all not to put any money in your cards. No wonder why the mail is so slow, they open everything. luckily, they forward it along, after  their long fingers have been through every mail item.

    

 

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You’re lucky it got there. When I lived in SA I literally only had half the stuff ever sent to me from overseas arrive...and that’s stuff I knew about. There was a much better success rate for things that got sent via my work PO Box number so I’d also suggest that if it is an option for people.  Clearly they are less eager to mess with businesses than individuals.

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I’ve completely stopped sending stuff via regular mail. UPS and FedEx are stupidly expensive but it usually gets there unmolested and in reasonable time.

The last gifts I sent to my friend, SAPO made him pay 150% customs and excise tax before they would release it. It was literally just some books, a few touristy oddities and a couple toys for his daughters. Everything was itemized, declared properly, with the correct codes and should have attracted no more than 15-20% at the absolute max!

It’s quite ridiculous right now. If they aren’t outright  stealing the packages, they’re holding them hostage and shaking down the recipients like mafiosos!

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17 hours ago, JumpingJasonFlash said:

I’ve completely stopped sending stuff via regular mail. UPS and FedEx are stupidly expensive but it usually gets there unmolested and in reasonable time.

The last gifts I sent to my friend, SAPO made him pay 150% customs and excise tax before they would release it. It was literally just some books, a few touristy oddities and a couple toys for his daughters. Everything was itemized, declared properly, with the correct codes and should have attracted no more than 15-20% at the absolute max!

It’s quite ridiculous right now. If they aren’t outright  stealing the packages, they’re holding them hostage and shaking down the recipients like mafiosos!

My wife sent a package to her nieces and, like you, all declared itemized etc. On arrival the local PO wanted to charge over R400 in duty and my SIL said hell no - reevaluate that duty. A 2 week wait and the parcel came back with a now R40 customs charge!!! Shake down of the first degree and this is not the first time either.

The parcels normally get sent First Class Mail here which does provide an international tracking # and this has (So far anyway) helped ensure it all gets there OK as a phone call to the local SA P.O. quoting the tracking # is usually sufficient to get it to suddenly "appear".

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We also send a box of old magazines every 6 months 20 lb box for $85.00 This includes a tracking number and its interesting to see all the tracking on the package on the US side which takes about 7 days. The tracking of the parcel stops once it lands at Johannesburg. Once in Johannesburg or Cape Town the package appears to float around for 4- 6 weeks when it will finally reach Cape Town and is delivered They charge about R 40.00 in taxes.

What is shameful is the cutting open of any card that is sent to check for money, then they tape it up again. They did this in the past as well an on enquiring they said it was found damaged or open in the mail.

A friendly reminder to anyone sending Christmas cards or birthday cards not to include anything of value. 

        

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I thought I should add that birthday cards sent to us and our kids have also been opened on the SA side before arriving here as well ... : /

It was re-sealed with SAPO tape or something similar.

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