Renewing a South African passport: Who could have imagined this would take a minimum of six months? Thankfully it’s only $50, but requires a full set of notarised fingerprints — something not so easily done for non-citizens in the USA. My wife gets her British passport renewed within a couple of weeks by post (or within 24 hours, in person) but they charge her nearly $250. I guess you get what you pay for, or do you?
No civilian chooses to carry a passport, or none that I know of. There shouldn’t be a hefty consumption charge on something you cannot do without and then not have those documents created within a reasonable amount of time and at a modest cost: A few weeks by posts seem reasonable. Overnight if you call in person would be nice. A minimum of six months seems punitive or inefficient or simply out of touch with the reality of life.
For those South Africans heading home for the 2010 World Cup, be warned, renew you RSA passport early!
UPDATE: March 22nd, 2009. My renewed passport arrived last week, about three and a half months after I applied for it. Just in time to be useless, without a visa, to visit Britain because RSA hasn’t kept up with securing their passports and reducing abuses.