Ok, so I did the most foolish of all things- I booked not 1, but 5 plane seats from UK to ZA return for February the 8th 2012 (£££££).
The problem is that my passport has expired, so I applied for renewal end Nov 2011, thinking there would be plenty of time, but discovered then that waiting times are 4 months plus any delays because of xmas etc.
The SA High Commission (SAHC) states that they will only issue temporary passports to dual citizenship holders, which I am not, but I am a permanent resident with indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
I contacted the UK Border agency and they indicated that I will be allowed back into the UK with a temporary passport, as long as I can show that I am returning (show an exit stamp) and that I have ILR (by means of my expired passport).
The SAHC says they need this in writing before they can provide me with a temporary passport, but the UKBA says they cannot provide any information in writing (for various reasons).
Does anyone know how I can get around this?