South Africa: I Queue for a Living

Standing in snaking queues - whether at Home Affairs, collecting a social grant, or a visit to a congested clinic - is a boring and time consuming task many South Africans find themselves doing more often than they like.

After hearing numerous complaints by peers and gogos in his community, 29-year-old Koketso Denny Nkuna from Burgersfort in Limpopo, had the idea to queue for people for a fee.

Nkuna said that he had been unemployed for nearly eight years and had grown despondent about ever finding a job. Burgersfort, which falls under the Sekhukhune District municipality, is home to more than 20 mines, but towns there, including Burgersfort, are among the most impoverished places in the country.

Nkuna, who studied engineering, said he needed a way to support his girlfriend and their baby. "I had a bad experience with job hunting and the recent retrenchment of workers in my area led me to start this business," he said.

"I identified that queues are a big problem throughout the country. So I decided to give it a try and maybe provide an income for other young South African men," he said.

Nkuna currently employs five people. On the job they wear bright orange bibs with "I queue 4 You" on either side, along with their contact number. They charge R50 per client, but this fee increases to R100 for every additional hour they spend in line, Nkuna explained.

"We have already had people coming up and asking us what we do. My clients phone me to tell us where they want us to wait in the queue for them. My clients are all ages, not just the gogos," he said.

Nkuna hopes to grow his business to areas outside of Burgersfort and is currently looking to partner with potential investors. "It would be great if someone could help us design an App like Uber where our clients can book us and we can plan where we need to be queueing. We are looking for the business to grow and spread to other places in the country," he said.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: GroundUp

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.