Three contractors - one from Soweto, another from Pretoria,
and the third from Benoni - are bidding to fix a broken fence at
the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
They go with a Union Buildings official to examine the fence.
The Pretoria contractor takes out a tape measure, does some
measuring, and then works some figures with a pencil.
"Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about R900: R400
for materials, R400 for my crew, and R100 profit for me."
The Benoni contractor also does some measuring and figuring,
then says, "I can do this job for R700: R300 for materials,
R300 for my crew, and R100 profit for me."
The Soweto contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans
over to the Union Buildings brother and whispers, "R2,700."
The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like
the other guys! How did y! ou come up with such a high figure?"
The Soweto contractor whispers back, "R1000 for me, R1000 for
you, and we hire the guy from Benoni to fix the fence."
"Done!" replies the government official.
And that, folks, is how it all works in S.A. these days!