Post Offices

The first Post Office in Pinelands was opened in 1926 and was housed in the original Garden Cities Trust office on the left side Forest Drive where the Raapenberg Bridge now stands. At the time Forest Drive was a gravel road with a level crossing over the railway line. 

The lease was for one year and was renewed annually until a new site was found in 1932 and a gabled building erected in Central Avenue. This building was replaced by a more modern structure in 1967. When the paving was redone, two cannons were unearthed and placed outside the building.

The Post Office decided to close 400 offices throughout the country in March 1996. This included the Pinelands Post Office. Due to the uproar among residents, the Chief Administrator of the Western Cape gave an undertaking to Pinelands that before closing, they would first consult the community.

A meeting was held between Post Office officials, community representatives and the ward councillor. Although it was meant to be a consultative meeting, the impression was gained that no matter what the community said, the Post Office would close. As expected, the Post Office was closed in April, after giving 70 years of service to the community. The elderly were the most impacted by this closure and as a compromise a mobile post office stood at Central Square once a week, but was soon discontinued.  

One of the cannons was moved to the Garden of Remembrance while the second cannon disappeared from the Post Office Depot in Maitland, where it had been sent for safekeeping. The heavy cannon needed a specialised truck due to its weight and the depot had a 24-security guard. Yet no one knows what happened to the cannon despite questions posed in Parliament.

The reason given for the closure of the Pinelands Post Office was its close proximity to the Howard Centre Post Office which they promised to upgrade.

The Howard Centre Post Office had opened in 1953. A competition was held to name the new post office. Hundreds of entries were submitted, and the Place Names Commission chose Howard Place submitted by Claude Powell who was awarded with a prize of one Guinea (the equivalent of R100 today). In 2018 notice was given that the Howard Post Office would also be closing. The public was given mixed messages. The Centres’ manager Rosalynn Children gave two reasons for the closure. One reason was that the Post Office had defaulted in their rental payments and that the lease was coming to an end – the Centre had earmarked the area for a fast-food outlet and a restaurant. Despite objections Howard Centre Post office closed. And so, the South African Post Office, which had faithfully served Pinelands residents for 92 years, moved out of Pinelands forcing residents to use the Maitland Post Office. With no public transport between Pinelands and Maitland it was the elderly who once again suffered the most from this closure. However, this led to the expansion of PostNet which was already operating in the Centre.