Occasionally, just occasionally, it's good to burst your privilege bubble to understand one of the main reasons South Africa finds itself in an economic time warp. If you are a privileged South African with access to great telecommunications, medical aid and a free Wi-Fi network, you are among the rare few who seldom, if ever, need to interact with public service in any serious way. Buy a car from a dealer, they will register the vehicle for you. Need to renew the licence? You can pay someone to do it and duck the queue. Need an ID or a passport? In Johannesburg you can go to a bank branch and get it done, by appointment, with charming home affairs staff in minutes. I figured it was time to experience the real world, even if just for a day. So, one day at 5am, I pulled into the parking garage at the mall where my closest home affairs is. "Strange," I thought smugly as I set down my camping chair outside the front door, "no one else is here yet." I'd been warned to get there early. T...

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