Sunday, 30 December 2012

How to do......... as an expat in South Africa

First thing if you want to do anything here is start the conversation with...

'I'm not from round these parts, I'm British, on a visitors visa (can't work) and I would like some to explain to me how to open, set up, tranfer, apply for, find...etc'

Don't be embarrassed to ask to speak with a supervisor, hang up phone again.

From personal experience it's better to actually go to the shop/government building/municipality department and speak with someone face to face, there will be long queues so top your phone up and take a book. No need for snacks, they usually have food vans and drinks as they know how long these things take to do.

Whenever I need to do anything I take with me the following documents. You will need all of these photocopied and verified. To do this go to your local SAPS (Police Station) Don't confuse this with the Metro police they can't and won't sign documents.
I spend a lot of time at OR Tambo airport with visitors, dropping off and fetching hubby and find the Police very helpful there.

So here goes

Copy of Passport and Visa.
Medical aid Card and copy of hubbies Passport.
Proof of Residency (something with your address on, in your name, spelt correctly.
Letter from hubby to say he gives full permission for me to deal with these things on his behalf (preferably on headed works paper).
Copy of employment contract (Yes they do require the full 27 pages).
3 months of pay slips (of course when you arrive you don't have this, banks, etc will tell you what to provide instead, as each place is different)

A vial of the kids blood is often useful to offer, no one takes bribes here, you'll just end up in jail.

And when all else fails, just return with hubby, him muttering 'can't you do this yourself?' when all else fails and they need to see him, after you've completed all the forms, had everything stamped, signed in triplicate and queued for an average of 4 hours a day for the past week.

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