Red and Yellow and Pink and Green, Orange and Purple and Blue, I Can Sing a Rainbow…

South Africa is often referred to as the Rainbow Nation, a term which is symbolic of the country’s diverse cultural, ethnic and racial background. The expression was originally coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and used by many thereafter with the aim of capturing, and dare I say promoting a sense of unity post-apartheid era, during which everything had been viewed through the screen of an old-skool television. South Africa’s flag further embraces the ideology of a unity of colour and race through its use of 6 dyes. Unlike a rainbow however, the colours of absence and sensory balance feature. Continue reading

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“Hello?” The Rubbing Together of Two Sticks

I have great respect for customer service agents (and by this I’m talking about those agents who refer to a call centre as their place of work). Call centres are such hectic and noisy open-plan environments to work in (unless you are managing a knitting pattern hot-line or a ‘compliment me on my driving’ service for truck drivers). You are assigned to a tiny cubical, where you barely have space to squeeze in your morning coffee mug, let alone a portable framed picture of your loved one, girlfriend, children, pet etc. and no privacy. Continue reading

Seeking Employment…South African Style

One of the things which prompted me to set up this blog was the process minefield which the Department of Home Affairs has set in place pertaining to a tertiary-educated foreigner obtaining a work permit, in order to be ‘legally’ employed within the country of South Africa.

I listen to Five FM in the mornings on the way into work along with the news bulletins and Gareth Cliff’s frank takes on current affairs in the country. It is entertaining to say the least and more often than not Gareth tends to vocalise exactly what I expect most of the nation has been thinking when it comes to certain goings-on,  political upsets,  crime and other fraudulent activities, and just about any other matter which ‘gets his goat’. Of course the level of his frankness all depends on which side of bed he falls out of in the mornings and how tempting it is to make another ginger joke about Sias’ gingerness.

My initial experiences of the work permit minefield began in January 2009 when I was looking to return to South Africa, after having completed a 6 month stint assisting a local engineering firm in the design of a of World Cup airport project at OR Tambo International Airport. I researched the various visa options available and contacted a South African immigration agency (Intergate) in order to assist with the process and provide a locally based contact with Home Affairs. They advised me that with my particular skill set I could apply for a ‘Quota Work Permit’, which is similar in nature to the highly skilled work visa variant in the UK. Continue reading