Our Post Office suffers from the same malaise as most of our government institutions

I went to Plettenberg Bay Post Office (PO) this week to pay a traffic fine I had incurred in Cape Town. I have a pamphlet from the PO stating that traffic fines from Cape Town may be paid at Plettenberg Bay PO.
I told the counter assistant, who was rather cheerless, that I wanted to pay a traffic fine and handed her the summons.
She looked at this summons as if it was the first time she had ever seen one, and then stared blankly into her computer screen.
After about one minute she said: “It has not arrived yet.”
I told her that I was not expecting anything and repeated what I was trying to do, only to receive the same answer again.
Realising that I was not going to achieve anything here, I retrieved my summons, thanked the lady (not sure what for) and walked to a nearby supermarket, where a supervisor directed me to a counter where I was attended to by a very polite and helpful assistant.
Within three minutes the transaction was complete and I left the store with my receipt, carefully stapled to the summons - “so it does not become lost,” said the lady.
What excellent service.
Ahead of me at the PO a couple were being served and from their accents I deemed them to be foreigners. They wanted postage stamps to send two picture postcards back to their country.
I was alarmed to hear the assistant tell them that they could only buy a minimum of 10 stamps.
After some hesitation from the couple and further discussion, they purchased the 10 stamps, however I could see that they were not happy.
Is this correct? Does the PO only sell stamps in multiples of 10 these days, or is this simply a dodge to increase PO income? As the very heartbeat of Plettenberg Bay’s economy is tourism, surely we can treat tourists better than that.
Finally, I wonder when the PO last cleaned the blades of their ceiling fans. They are covered in filth.
What a dismal experience. Surely our PO staff can take some pride in what they do. I fear the malaise that has infected all institutions under our ANC-controlled government is now also affecting the South African postal service.
Kevin Meineke, Harkerville

(This letter was sent to the Plett postmaster for a response, but none had been received by our going to print. - Eds.)