Ok guys - some folks seem to be missing the point. The MCSA is a CLUB, just like any other - it is a group of people who have a common interest and have joined together to further that interest. Like with any other club, if everyone sits back and expects someone else to do stuff for them then the club goes nowhere. If people climb in and decide to get stuff done then things get done. If the club doesn't suit you then you have two choices - leave it alone and go and find another club (or a commercial guiding service), or join and then start doing some of the stuff that needs to be done.
As to joining being difficult - it's only difficult because you think it is! If you want to go climbing (or hiking) and the club is going climbing or hiking anyway, then why is it so difficult to go with them and get to know people? Once you know a few people then joining is trivial.
Finally, value for money: I've been an MCSA member for the past 12 years. Not once in the past 8 have I failed to get more than my money's worth out of the club. The previous 4 years were break-even. I found that if took advantage of the opportunities offered I got GREAT value. For example: in the past 8 years I have been on the receiving end of multi-day training by overseas specialists brought out by the club no less than 6 times. The 7th time starts tomorrow. Not one of these sessions cost me more than R300 and for most of them that included the cost of food!
082-652-1490 (all hours but try to be reasonable)