Jacob Zuma is reportedly set to make good on his promise to create 500 000 new jobs in South Africa before the end of the year by hiring half a million people to help clear the backlog of filing at Home Affairs departments around the country.
A spokesman for the beleaguered department, Fees Moloi, who operates from counter five at the Randburg office, estimated it would take 500 000 people at least three years to file and process all the paperwork.
"We haven't filed anything since 1995 when our last filing cabinet jammed closed. Since then we have just stacked everything in piles," he said, adding that sometimes in winter they had used the forms to start fires in the staff kitchen.
Moloi said an influx of new staff would be welcomed as Home Affairs was currently being run by its Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a Director General, Sinbad Chansa at counter three, Gladys the tea lady and seven Nigerians who also sold pens on the steps outside the building.
"When the Minister is needed in Parliament we have to close counter one," he said, "which means no passport applications can be processed unless Gladys fills in, and she's usually away at the shop getting Romany Creams for the day."
Asked what skills the new recruits would need, Moloi suggested enquiries should be directed to Sinbad Chansa at counter three. Chansa confirmed department guidelines would be used when selecting the candidates.
"Whoever pays the most will get the job," he said. "Duh".
In order to ensure he kept up on the payments for his SLK, Chansa said potential candidates would probably be required to attend several rounds of interviews.
He added that in the unlikely event that not enough applicants were able to pay the interviewing panel, standard departmental criteria would be used to draft shortlists.
"Candidates should be able to make coffee, breathe and be bilingual in at least one of South Africa's official languages," he said.
Those who were able to perform two of the three tasks simultaneously would be given management positions.
Chansa would neither confirm nor deny that being "bilingual in one language" meant being able to grunt and point.