Letters to the minister of labour S.A.

The following are genuine extracts of letters received by the MINISTRY OF LABOUR (SOUTH AFRICA) from people enquiring after money on the grounds of hardship. They are exact copies as they were received. Neither the wording nor the spelling has been altered.

1. I am glad to state that my husband died yesterday. I will be glad if you get me a pension. If you don’t hurry up I will have to get public resistance.
2. I am enclosing my marriage certificate with three children. One of then is a mistake as you can see when you look into it. I am writing to say my youngest son is born two years old. Why not getting allowances for it.
3. I am enclosing certificate with six childran. One of them twins died. You asked if he is christened: yes he was baptised on half a sheet of paper by a certain Captain in the Salvation Army.
4. The man I live with won’t work and he wants to know if my husband is dead. Will you please search through your records office for him and let me know.
5. In accordance with your Instructions I have given birth to twins in the enclosed envelope.
6. I want money as badly as quisk as you can send it. I have been in bed under the doctor for weeks and he doesn’t seem to be doing me any good. If things don’t improve I shall have another doctor.
7. Milk is needed for my baby. Father is unable to supply it.
8. Re your dental enquiry, the teeth at the top are still alright, but the ones in my bottom are hurting me terrible.
9. Please send me a form for cheap milk.I have a baby 2 month old and did not know about it until the neighbor told me.
10. My son is unable to attend school. He has had diarrhoea through a hole in his shoe.

These are actual letters sent by council building dwellers (JOHANNESBURG):
1. I want some repairs done to my cooker as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.
2. I wish to complain that my father hurt his ankle very badly when he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.
3. Their 18 year old son is continuously banging his balls against my fence.
4. I wish to report that tiles are missing from the roof of the outside toilet and I think it was bad wind the other night that blew them off.
5. The lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand?
6. I am writing on behalf of my sink which is coming away from the wall.
7. Will you please send someone to mend the garden path. My wife tripped and fell on it yesterday and now she is pregnant.
8. I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.
9. Can you please tell me when the repairs will be done as my wife is about to become an expectant mother.
10. I am still having trouble with smoke in my built-in drawers.
11. The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.
12. Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.
13. Our lavatory seat is broken in half and now it is in three pieces.
14. Would you please send a man to repair my sprout. I am an old age pensioner and need it straight away.
15. I want to complain about the farmer across the road; every morning at 6am his thingy wakes me up and it’s getting too much.
16. The man next door has a large erection in the back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.
17. Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third so will you please send someone around to do something about it.
18. I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would be pleased if you could do something about the noise made by the man I have on top of me every night.
19. Please send a man with clean tools to finish the job and satisfy the wife.
20. I have had the Clerk of the Works down on the floor six times, but still have no satisfaction.
21. We are getting married in September and would like it in the garden before we move into the house.
22. This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broken and we can’t get SABC2 (television station).
23. I try to take just one day at a time but lately several days have atacked me at once!!

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