Friday, 13 April 2018

Hope for Home Affairs

Previously I posted that I had a problem with my Driver's licence and to renew it I needed a new Identity Book or card which is replacing the book. Well I tried to order on the Home Affairs website but that failed at the payment section. I then tried to skip the payment for later and go straight to the appointment phase but that too failed. So much for the Home Affairs website.

I needed my Drivers so I had to suck it up and go join the long queues at Home Affairs. I chose the Randburg branch as I have heard lots of good things such as quick queues but that was to be proven wrong this morning.

Anyways I set out on my Vespa to guarantee a good parking spot especially with my back all strapped up in a brace due to my lower back injury. The day started off bad with my back tyre being flat due to a large screw embedded but I was strangely in good spirits even though it was Friday the 13th. Even arriving at the entrance cars were queued up trying to get into the parking. Inside the grounds, the queues were long, extremely long but I had no choice and stand. 

Standing in a queue gets you eventually talking to others around you. The good part is that you get to meet people in the same predicament as you. The bad part of it is that there is no escape from the negativity that can creep in. Thank God there was none around me. The lady behind me went forward to confirm that we were in the right queue as there were other queues snaking through the Garden of Gethsemane as my active mind was calling it. Yes ones mind gets quite active trying fight off the boredom of long queues. I eventually started working out how fast the queue was moving by selecting a person way ahead, and measuring the time it took from Point A to Point B, both points which I could calculate the distance between. The queue was moving at a snails pace of 12 meters per hour. Wow, even the giant tortoise can move at 270 meters per hour, thanks to Google. Now a sloth, you would expect to be very slow but at 120 meters per hour, he aren't no sloth. I am sorry Mr Snail for using you as an example as you can move a extremely fast pace of 47 meters per hour.

Standing is better than sitting for me back but the ground was so uneven that the constant pressure on my lower back, even with the strong anti-inflammatory and pain tablets that I took before setting out, that by the time I got to the door of the building after 2 hours of queuing I was gritting my teeth in pain. 

Somewhere along the queuing, I overheard somebody repeating a story of a young mother in tears with a small baby being belittled by the Home Affairs staff as she was seeking compassion at very Randburg Home Affairs department that I was standing outside. I remember hearing the story and thinking that things have sure changed if human compassion was the least on people's minds but when the traffic controller at the door saw me in pain, he asked me to sit down but I told him that if I sit now, I'll never get up and showed him my back brace. He nodded and usurered me in right to the front of the first queue that was inside the building. When I got my number, I was whisked off to get my photo taken. After that right to a counter, then to the cashier. Before I knew it, not even 15mins I was finished. 

As I hobbled out I passed the couple that was standing behind me was still waiting at the door. They were surprised that I was finished and I told them about the traffic controller, someone perked out that there was compassion here after all. True, there is still hope for the human race, and the South African Department of Home Affairs. 

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