Wednesday, May 02, 2007

National Productivity Week

What costs R400 million, is three years late, and makes no damn difference? eNaTIS, that's what. It's just as slow (if not slower) and just as broken as the old system, and it is a convenient excuse to waste everyone's time. Today it wasted 3 hours of my time at the Vehicle Licensing Department in Randburg.
I arrived at 12:05pm, and the queue was out of the building door. I stopped a man leaving the building with a registration paper in his hand, and he told me he'd arrived at 9am, so I hunkered down for a 3 hour wait. By 12:30 the queue had reached the doors and I was able to hand in the change of ownership forms. They were stamped, and I was given number 37 and told to wait for the number to be called. I paid a traffic fine at another counter, and then joined the license renewal queue at 12:37pm. We all stood and waited until 1:40pm, when the game of musical chairs began. They provide 20 seats and you move from one to the next as the queue advances. It took nearly an hour for this queue to advance, partly because only 3 of the 4 windows earmarked for renewals were actually being used.
Once I had handed my form to the operator and waited a few minutes while they backdated the payment date, I was able to pay for the renewal and get the certificate after 2 hours and 30 minutes. So much for 12 transactions per second.
But wait, there's more! I still had the matter of the change of ownership papers, which had been languishing in the back of the office as batch number 37. Finally the number was called and I left at 2.50pm. Why does it take 2 hours and 13 minutes to change the ownership of a vehicle? The mind boggles.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. After all, this is what I wryly refer to as National Productivity Week, being the week during which we have 2 public holidays optimally positioned 4 days apart to create the maximum disruption to the economy and waste everybody's time.

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