Really Awful Lack of Cues to Queues

Application for a pension,
As attempted by a friend,
Has too many snags to mention,
And some red tape without end.

It would seem the SA nation
Doesn’t like the office found –
They disguise it as a station,
With no single sign around.

By the queues alone you know it,
As they snake around the bend;
Driven round the bend they show it,
With a wait that has no end.

If you try a conversation
While you’re waiting in the queue
Speakers give you consternation
When they blare the next train due.

Our poor friend finally buckled under the bureaucracy that demanded he apply for his pension at the office in Durban itself instead of that closer to our home to which we found it easier to offer transport.  I took him to the one in the city today, and the appointed address turned out to be the backside of the railway station.  A friendly employee at a nearby service station directed us to a set of steps with no signage, and at the top there was still nothing to indicate where to go – except for the distant view of a sorry mob who turned out to be waiting not for a train, but for pension purposes.  They were condemned to stand for most of the morning in line before being admitted to a room where, at least, benches were provided, and then sitting on these for a few hours more.

Not a single sign appeared anywhere, inside or out, to identify the SASSA office, except for an A4-size notice at the door regarding old age pensions in general.  This was dated from about 2008.  There might have been some signage in the room itself, but I didn’t get to see inside.

Finally, our friend did get some registering done, but he still has to go back tomorrow for an interview.  Oh, joy!

To take my mind off the horror of it all, a picture of Gordon's Bay taken during last week's Cape excursion  by the younger family members.

To take my mind off the horror of it all, a picture of Gordon’s Bay taken during last week’s Cape excursion by the younger family members.

© July 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Africa, Beach, Current Affairs, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to  Really Awful Lack of Cues to Queues

  1. libraschild says:

    definite attempt to try ensure if you have enough money you can’t be bothered to try claim your pension too…


  2. cupitonians says:

    Aaah the endless delights of bureaucracy! How else are we to know we’re human but from the sheer range of emotion they make us feel?


  3. beeblu says:

    The horror of it all, indeed. Appalling.


  4. nrhatch says:

    Your poem nailed it, Col. What a sad situation for those looking for clues and cues to the pension queue. Hope your friend’s interview will be the final “rubber stamp.”


    • colonialist says:

      Sad indeed – sheer cruelty to those infirm. I forgot to comment on the multiple steps one has to climb to get there – another means of discouraging the aged from qualifying!
      One more hurdle for friend – waiting in queue again to pick up the card.


  5. A most excellent description of a queue at a government office: “a sorry mob”!


  6. Joss says:


  7. Stephanie Haahjem says:

    What a shame! Our Germiston SASSA branch is very good-I was expecting the worst, but was very pleasantly surprised by the efficiency and mostly politeness of the staff. The office is also clean and spacious with plenty of seating in all areas. All-in-all, it was a pleasant, if lengthy experience!


  8. What a disgusting state of affairs! To treat elderly people like this is tantamount to abuse. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What makes you think they don’t want people to claim pensions?

    Liked by 1 person

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