You join me at one of the local Traffic Departments, because my driving licence needs renewing. This process is slow, laborious, irritating and archaic, but it does make the government plenty of money, given that everyone has to do it every five years. Nice.
So it’s not going away any time soon.
It’s a filthy Cape Town morning: grey, wet, blustery and dark, and no-one wants to be here. The clients, the staff, the security – no-one. And thus, it is a picture of misery which surrounds me.
I wanted to postpone my visit and come next week, but the inclement weather and the fact that it’s Friday and I’m in a predominantly Muslim area tempted me into heading out today to avoid the queues.
I have no idea if it worked, because I don’t have a control day for comparison, but I’m in 11th place, having arrived a half hour before the place opened, and I’m waiting outside, but UNDER COVER, as the rain batters down on those beyond 15th.
Sorry for you. Maybe arrive earlier next time: don’t you know that the system is hopelessly dysfunctional and overloaded?
Tomorrow’s post may be on a completely different subject, or I may still be here, depending on how things go, given that the place was supposed to open 10 minutes ago now, but… hasn’t.
Pray for me.
I went to renew my driver’s licence today. It’s something you have to do every 5 years in South Africa, so that they can extract just a little more cash from your already hard-pressed wallet.
There’s a rather inefficient system in place to get the all important card. Firstly, you have to stand in a queue to get a DL1 form. It would be nice if you could get this online and fill it in in advance, but you can’t. So there.
Once you’ve completed DL1, you get to join queue two. That’s the eye test queue. Each eye test takes 4½ minutes, on average, so it’s not a quick queue. Still, you had nothing better to do with your Saturday morning than stand in another line, right? Right.
Only once you’ve passed your eye test with flying colours can you move on to the third queue. That’s the payment queue.
You’d think that simply handing over R140 would be a fairly speedy, uncomplicated task, but they seem to take quite a while considering the straightforward deal.
Open another payment window?
I think not.
And what do you get when you’ve paid? A piece of paper that you can hand back to them at a future date once they’ve printed your licence.
Of course, when that time comes, you will have to stand in a queue to pick it up.
Yep. If there’s something that the system to renew your driver’s licence in South Africa is trying to tell the general public, it’s definitely Four Queue.