Today I collected my Schengen visa from the Italian consulate in Cape Town. That too was pretty simple, and I'll post how I got mine. Though we'll be staying in many Schengen states on our trip, we're in Italy the longest (4 days, 2 in Rome, 1 in Venice and 1 in Florence) so that's the consulate we had to go to.
The documents required are the same as the UK visa and the fee is slightly cheaper, at R709 per person. The process is pretty much exactly the same, except that you have to fill out a form by hand rather than online. You can download the form here, and book your appointment here. You'll need your passport for the last few digits as your reference. You get to choose your appointment time and date as well. When selecting your date, a separate window pops up with the times available. You need to click on the save button on this window, and once done, click the "Make Appointment" button on the first window. I forgot to do this first time round, and my appointment wasn't made, so when I showed up at the consulate for my appointment they looked at me like I was stupid.
Once you click the "Make Appointment" button, an email is sent to you confirming the time. You then go for your interview on the day. The consulate building is here:
And it's a fairly painless process. Make sure you have all your documents, and make sure you have copies of everything. The consulate doesn't make copies, so you need to provide. Also, they don't return any documents, so if you give originals in, you won't get them back. Another thing to note: they only accept cash, so make sure you draw enough cash before hand.
As a timeline - after I discovered I hadn't clicked the "Make Appointment" button first time round, I went straight to work and went online and booked another appointment for the next day, Wednesday, at 11:10. I made the appointment for 2 people, so we both went in and gave our docs in and paid. I collected our passports with visas in this morning, Friday, at 10:00. So it took 2 days, nice and easy.
Next step: buying train tickets to get to Liverpool and back.