"He will send a boy, he says, to fix the kombi."

The word 'boy' was for many years in common use in South Africa to refer to a black male. White households and employers often took on black males as labourers or to complete menial jobs and would often address them as 'boy' to enforce their subservient status. The word could also be used as a generic term directed toward a black man by a white person, although it's now widely reagrded as a derogatory racial slur.