BotswanaPost is re-energising its multimillion pula home mail delivery project, first piloted five years ago, despite the pilot showing low levels of acceptance and use amongst consumers.
Since the pilot launched at Block 7 and 8, many of the 7,000 or so home mail boxes installed by BotswanaPost remain unused and even vandalised, with Batswana apparently sticking to the post office as their preferred method of mail delivery.
Officials at the parastatal told BusinessWeek that the uptake of letter mail during the pilot was low and had kept declining during the pilot run at Block 7 and 8.
Parcel/package mail volumes, however, had been on the increase during the period.
“This finding is aligned to the current rise in e-commerce, mail being Express Mail Service and parcels/packages,” officials said in an emailed response this week.
“Currently mail delivered to Block 7 and Block 8 averages 200 deliveries a month.”
The officials said BotswanaPost was now focusing on rolling out the project countrywide using a different model,
Unlike the pilot where homes received mail for free, the countrywide roll out will have cost implications for the consumer.
“BotswanaPost is finalising the costing of this service and this will be communicated to residents and future customers soon.
“Customers will be expected to provide their own mail receptacles as the current ones were provided for purposes of the pilot project,” the parastatal said.
Critics of the home mail delivery project said BotswanaPost was testing the service at a time when the use of letters and post mail was at historic lows due to the growth of email and Internet products.
The pilot’s conclusion that most of the mail delivered comprised e-commerce and parcels appears to confirm criticism that the service would be underused and cost more than its benefits.