I received another crash course in readjustment to South Africa this morning when I tried for the second time to renew my car license. Last week I was told that I need to have proof of residance in order to change my adress from Pretoria to Randburg when renewing the license. I was also told that a letter from the landlord would be sufficient for the purpose.

Anyway, I returned this morning with the required letter. I was then told that I also needed a certified copy of the landlord’s ID and a utility bill with his name on it. I proceeded to explode but they refused to help and could not answer my accusations of incompetents. After calling the supervisor I finally stormed out, angry enough to break something.

This is precisely the same situation I was in with the post office where I turned up with the p.o. box keys they asked for and was told I needed the original receipt as well.

I find this situation quite sad in reality. Why must things be so complicated? Why must it take so much time and effort to achieve something as simple as renewing the car license and changing the registered address. At the moment, in order to achieve any correspondance with a goverment managed institution here in SA it requires three visits:

  1. First visit where you bring what you think is logical and reasonable and they tell you what you actually need to bring which is quite different.
  2. Second visit where you return with the requested documents/items only to be told that the person you dealt with on the first visit was incompetent and gave you the wrong information.
  3. Third try lucky? (I have yet to achieve this…)

Maybe if SA wasn’t so bogged down in useless bureaucracy which wastes time and therefore money, we could be more productive. SA should adopt the KISS philosophy – keep it simple stupid!

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