Caring not a whit

2008-09-24 00:00

RECENTLY I had the unfortunate necessity to visit the Pietermaritzburg Department of Home Affairs and join one of the long, snake-like queues. Although there are now some benches (but not enough) for the elderly, the disabled and pregnant women, most people are in long queues that move very, very slowly.

At one point two men came crashing through the queue I was in and reached the service point where they shouted and pounded on the window. Much commotion ensued, but finally two security guards took them away. It struck me that if this were the scene during the apartheid years, it would have been seen as perfectly acceptable.

But 14 years into a democratic South Africa, citizens have to waste hours and days of their time trying to get important documents. And the responsible government officials care not a whit for those they supposedly serve.

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