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...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now