In South Africa, there are two parallel health services, private and public. The principle in both systems is that it is usually most appropriate to first see a general, non-specialist doctor – either in private or at your local clinic. Many psychiatric disorders can be treated by your local doctor. If they feel it is appropriate they will refer you to a psychiatrist. They can also arrange a more urgent appointment or even admission to a psychiatric hospital if this was needed.
In the public health system, you will only see a psychiatrist if your local doctor feels it is necessary. In many clinics, there may be a registered nurse who only works in psychiatry and would be able to give advice on being referred to a specialist psychiatrist.
In the private health system, you can make an appointment with a psychiatrist directly. You can find one here.