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Service with a mielie and without a smile

29 May 2014, 14:04

I recently had the misfortune to have some of the growing legions that the ANC has left uneducated and unemployed jump over a 3 metre wall and break into my house while I was out walking the dogs. The buggers have evidently been watching my movements. All they stole was my laptop and wallet I had left on the kitchen counter. Fortunately they did no enter the bedroom area where my wife was alone in bed.

It was the loss of the wallet that irked me most. I back up my computer on-line regularly so that was not a train smash . I had to cancel the credit card but it was the driver's licence that annoyed me most. Only last year I had gritted my teeth and gone through the dreaded five year totally redundant and degrading ritual of having to renew my licence and be polite as possible to the army of disinterested and rude ANC officialdom that inhabit the plaster pealing, filthy windowed offices of the Randburg Licensing Department.

The office is supposed to open at 07:30 so, armed with a book to read, I went and stood first in line at the door at 06:50 on drizzling gloomy day. The “werkas” slowly started to arrive from about 07:15, most clutching paper bags of hamburgers, chips and breakfast KFC. Sometime after 07:30 the doors opened for the public which was, by then, a queue of more than 25. We were ushered into a steel barred off little corridor where I found I was now 8th in the queue because some of the friends and relatives of the breakfasting staff or bribe givers had been let in via some back door.

Anyway, to cut a dreary and patience testing experience short, by 08:00 we were released from the cells, and after playing government musical chairs for an hour, I was eventually signalled to go and sit at one of the desks where a 100kg women sat chewing on a cold mielie. FFS, she attended to me clutching a mielie in one hand, on which she occasionally chewed, while trying to use the computer keyboard with the other.

Now I have previous experience of the little cadre trick to get a one-up on the long suffering public where, after wasting hours playing musical chairs, and you finally get to burger king, mielie muncher or KFC fingers, they conduct a perfunctory eye test which they then delight in telling you that you failed so you are forced to go away, see an optician and go through the same crap on another day.

I have full 20/20 vision and this time I saw an optician beforehand and had a certificate to that effect but mielie muncher still insisted I do a test with the machine with the greasy, faeces smeared joystick. The same equipment that they failed me with last time miraculously passed me now.

R350.00 and a temporary licence later, I waited two months and eventually collected my new licence produced courtesy of a R100 million plus tender awarded to our dear golfing friend at Sheik Enterprises by the then Minister of Transport and current loathsome spin doctor, Mac the Mouth.

I have locked the new licence away in a safe place because I am buggered if I am going to risk losing it or having it stolen again. So I won't carry a driver's licence with me any more. I have instead obtained a Commissioner of Oaths certified photocopy which I keep in my car. If I am stopped by that other useless bunch of bribe taking cadres, the Metro police, and they don't accept the copy and fine me then that is still going to be at lesser cost, hardship and fulminating annoyance than having to go through the exercise in futility again.

What a waste of time and resources. At least half the population drives around without licences, false licences or licences they bought from the mielie munchers and the rules of the road do not matter any more. I reckon that if half of all fat government employees were fired tomorrow that no one would notice and the country will be far better off without them.

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