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Rationalisation of magisterial districts underway in four provinces

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Cabinet has welcomed the finalisation of the rationalisation of the remaining four provinces’ magisterial districts.

According to Cabinet, the provinces include Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

“The process, which gives effect to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, commenced in 2014 with magisterial districts of Gauteng and North West being rationalised. Limpopo and Mpumalanga were finalised in 2016 and Northern Cape in 2018,” the Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said on Thursday.

Before 1994, Gungubele said the country’s magisterial districts were determined along racial lines, perpetuating inferior judicial services to black people living in the defunct homelands, self-governing States and townships.

“The proposed reconfigured courts’ jurisdiction boundaries ensure equal access to the justice system by all South Africans,” he said, adding that the process to finally come up with these boundaries was an all-inclusive process.

According to the Minister, it included the magistracy, South African Police Service, National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid Board, Municipal Demarcation Board and all relevant stakeholders in the respective provinces.

State litigation management

Meanwhile, Cabinet said it has approved three policies on the management of state litigation, mediation and state legal representation.

“These policies seek to promote a professionally empowering and cost-effective management of State litigation cases,” he explained.

In addition, the policies provide general principles to be observed and the approach to be adopted by the Office of the State Attorney (OSA) when dealing with litigation matters.

Also, the policies establish uniform procedures and provide a framework to assist the OSA.

“The mediation policy also introduces alternative interventions on cases that can be resolved at less costly court processes.”

These approved policies will operate as a transitional mechanism while the State Attorney Act, 1957 (Act 56 of 1957), as amended, is being reviewed.  – SAnews


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