Customer C.A.R.E.

Dr Trilogy

Module #126

South Africa never ceases to amaze me, and when it comes to customer care South Africa takes the unthinkable to new levels every single day. Not the private sector, mind you, I am in the main talking about our dysfunctional civil service. No rational person could ever come up with what happens to our long suffering population, courtesy of our bloated government employees. And I use the word bloated unreservedly, as it applies in every sense of the word

Take the following example, which a close colleague had to endure. Now in his seventies, and suffering from onerous municipal rates on his vastly overvalued house, he was relieved to receive an sms from the City of Joburg, which offered pensioner rebates on property rates, effective 1 July 2023. My colleague, a man of action, despite his advanced years, did not hesitate, downloading the application form, and following the instructions to the T. First, off to the Gallo Manor police station, to get his application certified by a commissioner of oaths. Alas, the police station was closed, with the gate cable tied. A very relaxed police officer was lounging around in front of the building, and when he saw my friend standing there, he slowly responded to a polite call, and offered the information that the police station may be open the next day. Alas, the next day it was still closed, and this time there was no one lounging around.

So, off to the Sandton police station, and after a frustrating wait, my colleague eventually emerged with the necessary certification. This was a Sunday, so first thing Monday morning, at 9 a.m. on 3 July 2023, a relieved pensioner arrived at the City of Joburg regional head office in Daisy Street, Sandton, and proudly presented his application for a property rates rebate to one of the officials lounging around in front of a table. The guy took the form, and promptly dumped it into a cardboard box, and turned to go. “Don’t I get a reference number?”, my friend enquired. “No, the system is down,” was the curt response. “So will I get a reference number tomorrow?”, my friend naively enquired. “No, the system will be down for the whole of July, so we will contact you sometime in August”, was the laconic response. I kid you not, or in the words of Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List, I shit you not. My friend was not going down with a fight, so he asked for some sort of proof that he had submitted the document, but the less than civil servant was having nothing of it, and my deflated colleague was dismissed with contempt.

This is a developing story, and I will keep my readers informed on the outcome of this dystopian situation.


a broken chair, for “customers” at the Sandton Police Station – it has been like this a long time, which gives one a strong indication of the calibre of management and staff


cable ties are used to keep “customers” away at the Gallo manor Police Station


rust in many ways, metaphorical and physical, rules the roost at the Gallo Manor Police Station


The COJ regional head office in Daisy Street, Sandton, is where you can experience Monty Python on Steroids, and more – a world class African city, nogal