Becoming a member of the Association of Natural Scientific Professions was my key to acquiring a critical skills letter to enable my temporary residence permit. On July 13th, I submitted my application to become a professional member of SACNASP. On July 22nd, my referees completed their reports for SACNASP. Then we settled down to wait.
I had hoped that we would have some feedback in the first month, but my request for a status update on August 24th was met with unwelcome news. SACNASP claimed that I never paid my processing fee, and so they had not begun processing my application! I sent my receipt from the organization back to them, and now it appears that they will take up my application at their October, 2015 meeting, with final evaluation at a November 19th, 2015, meeting. I would be very lucky to be in South Africa by the end of 2015, by this mechanism.
As of April, 2015, I had my appointment letter from Stellenbosch University. At the current rate of progress, a minimum of eight months will have passed since that letter before I can take up the position. I have been discussing with Stellenbosch University some strategies to short-cut these delays. Hopefully some of these will bear fruit in the days to come.