Unfortunately it is rarely a pleasure to deal with public administration in South Africa. Long processing times, the lack of competent help and separation from the public is present almost everywhere.
For example in November 2010 some 6.000 out of 13.000 applications for permanent residence permits were older than 6 months. If the South African administration finally does decide to handle the applications, they are mostly rejected without giving a reason. Otherwise it apparently seems easier for the Department of Home Affairs not to react to the applications at all. It is also not uncommon for applications to simply get lost in the Home Affairs administrative machinery without any further explanation or apology…Gary Eisenberg brings the problem to the point in her comment in Mail & Guardian February 3 to 9 2012: The model of centralising the decision-making regarding all temporary residence permit applications made in South Africa was a total disaster that had devastating consequences for the treasury, skills development and foreign direct investment. The centralisation model was a failure, especially if those at the top are incapable of thinking reasonably. The long processing times of applications discourages economically valuable foreign investment into South Africa and hinders local job creation.