POLICY GUIDELINES ON ACCOMMODATION
During October 1994 all the functions of the former TBVC countries and self-governing territories war transferred to the National Department Justice. The implication of this exercise was that all the finances and assets were centralized in Pretoria. Subsequently the Systems and procedures, which prevailed in the old Republic of South Africa's Justice Department, were adopted by the former TBVC states and self-governing territories in the new Department.
Investigations revealed that the magistrates' offices in the former TBVC states and self-governing territories were in a chaotic state. Plans were devised to address the problem by indulging the assistance of donors to alleviate the plight. In the Eastern Cape R7,5 million was donated by USAID to upgrade the infrastructure of the former Transkei. The Department added + R40 million and t is exercise enabled the Department to build one new office building at Tsolo as well as additional court rooms, offices, cells, ablution facilities and fencing, and to refurbish all selected 18 offices V Z. Nqamakwe, Tsomo, Maluti, Lady Frere, Bizana, Sterkspruit, Umtata, Flagstaff, Mqanduli, Mount Frere, Ngqeleni, Libode, Cofirnvaba, Elliotdale, Engcobo, Qumbu, Willowvale and Tabankulu. However, branch courts, periodical courts, detached courts and other magistrates' offices in the disadvantaged areas remained unattended in terms of improving their position. In the meantime, the Accommodate on Component in the National Office was saddled with a backlog of building projects which they inherited from the Department of Justice of the former RSA. These projects were the construction of new buildings, the building of cells, refurbishment of offices, etc. In addition, the Constitutional Court, Labour and Labour Appeal Courts at Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban and he Land Claims Court in Randburg had to be' established. These projects devoured most of Accommodation's budget and thus ignored the needs of the most disadvantaged areas.
Another problem which prevailed was that everything in relation to accommodation was decided at Head Office. The sub-offices and the regions did not participate in the decision making, in term of prioritizing as to which projects must be Proceeded with1 considering the constrained approved budget. On 27 October 1999 an effort was made to address their involvement by sending a manual to all Regional Offices per minute 2/2/1 over 2/2/2 (DDA), which set out procedures as to how the Regional Heads could address their accommodation needs in their respective areas. This minute, which as welcomed by all Regional Heads gave powers to the Regional Heads to prioritize and to recommend
to their counterparts, the Regional Managers of the Department of Public Works (DPW), which projects under R5 million could be proceeded with. It also clearly directed that major works above R5 million would be attended to by the National Office in conjunction with DPW's Head office as the executing agent.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is facing severe challenges pertaining to accommodation more especially from the remote areas and d advantaged communities. Offices are neglected and most of their courts are in a sorry state with no fencing, broken windows, no burglar proofing, no security, etc. In fact more requests emanate from the same, thus adding fuel to the fire.
DOJ, in order to address the aforesaid concerns, has come out with a well researched document on Model Counts. This document clearly spells out the requirements needed for an office to satisfy the requirements of a functional court building.
In view of the fact that our accommodation budget always falls short of our requirements, it has become evident that DOJ will take many years to achieve its objectives.
The proposed policy guidelines will assist DOJ in prioritizing its needs to suit the available budget, with a view of addressing inter alia:
(a) The bringing of justice closer to the people on the ground;
(b) the levelling of playing fields to place the condition of the offices which are located in the disadvantaged areas on par with the offices of the former RSA;
(c) changing the paradigm that the remote areas and disadvantaged communities are ignored by DOJ;
(d) minimizing the inquiries about the state of our courts.
SOURCES I REFERENCES TOWARDS POLICY GUIDELINES
In coming up with these guidelines DOJ has consulted with officials of DPW as well as the Regional Heads and other senior staff in the Regional Offices. The inputs fo various sub-offices have also been taken into account.
There are five categories which form the core accommodation, namely:
(1) Major Works (>R5 million)
(2) Minor Works (<P5 million)
(5) Residential Accommodation
Drastic measures have to be taken by DOJ to ensure that positive results in terms of its objectives
(I) Major Works (>RS million)
This refers to works of which the cost exceed R5 million per service.
The decisions which relate to this category reside with DOJ.
The building projects which are already in construction must be continued with until finalised.
However1 all the newly planned projects not situated in previously disadvantaged areas in
respect of which there are not yet contractual obligations must be suspended.
The Business Unit Court Services will consider recommendations to determine which projects
must be prioritized in order to be proceeded with. The regions must work on the following
(a) Regional Offices must establish Regional Committees which must deal with
accommodation related tatters. The role players of those committees must include
representatives from the Regional Offices of DPW, Cluster Heads and Sub-Cluster
Heads, representatives from NDPP, Masters of the High Court, Registrars of the
High Court and State Attorneys.
(b) The National Office needs to inform the Regional Offices of the status of the projects
in their regions so that the committees can utilize the information in their
accommodation related deliberations.! In other words, information which relates to
the completion of the building works already in process must be made available,
especially the finalization dates of projects.
(c) The committees' prioritization of major works projects must be driven by a number of
combined factors, viz.:
(i) population which served by the count;
(ii) number of cases which emanate from the area served by that court
(iii) proximity of the majority of the population to that court, .i.e.. consideration
should first be given to court needs which are nearer to the majority of the
(iv) cheapest and availability of transport to travel to the court,
(v) the prevalence of crime.
(d) Dilapidated courts in the previously neglected areas must be given the highest priority
irrespective whether the project is a major or a minor one.
(e) Efforts should be made to utilize courts which were built before the rationalization of
DOJ. Internal reorganisation must be made by the Regional committee to fully utilize
Projects to build new 0ourtS It there are under utilized courts nearby must be
(f) In order to bring justice to the majority of the population of the RSA, a new trend of
developing branch courts and periodical court into detached courts must be instituted.
This will take the load off the main courts which always need additional
(1.1) The major works projects indicated in Annexure A have been prioritized for the financial years
2002/2003 and 2003/2004.
(2) Minor Works (< R5 million)
Minor works are those accommodation projects of which the cost is below R5 million per service. These works are promoted with DPW's Regional Offices on receipt of instructions to commence with the identified project from the National Office of DOJ. The National Office will now be informed by the regional Office Committees about their decisions and the availability of funds.
The guidelines as envisaged in sub-paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) are applicable under this heading.
Supplementing the aforesaid guidelines, in order of priority, the following must be considered in assisting the Regional Office Committees in making their recommendations to the National Office.
(a) Dilapidated buildings in previously disadvantaged areas must be given the highest priority.
(b) Buildings which are leaking, broken tiles and paint peeling as a result of rain and wear and tear must be given immediate attention which will be occasioned by the neglect thereof.
MAJOR CAPITAL WORKS: PRIORITY LIST
36 AUGUST 2002
1. Daveyton Branch Court. Additional Accommodation.
2. Madadeni Magistrate's Office New Building.
3. Ntuzuma Branch Court. New Building.
4. Kathlahong Branch Court New Building.
5. Orlando Branch Court Additional Accommodation and repair
Johannesburg. , and renovation.
6. Emlazi Branch Court Security measures and additional
7, Zonkezizwe Branch Court New Building.
8. Tsakane Branch Court New Building.
9. Ekangala Magistrate's Office New Building.
10. Manielodi Branch Court New Building.
11. lngwavuma Magistrate's Court Additional Accommodation and repair
12. Whittl&sea Magistrate's Court Additional Accommodation and repair
13. Port Shepstone Magistrate's Office New Building.
14. Highflats Periodical Court New Building.
15. Pietermaritzburg Alternative Accommodation.
Master of the High Court.
16. Pietersburg Conversion and renovation of old
Circuit Court for High Court. Magistrate's Court.
17. Kagiso Branch Court New Building.
18. Ezibeleni Magistrate's Court New Building.
19. Umzimkulu Magistrate's Court Additional Accommodation
20. Soweto Branch Court Additional Accommodation
21. Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court Additional Accommodation
DEVELOPMENTS IN RURAL AREAS AND BLACK TOWNSHIPS
A. ALL COURTS BUILT SINCE 1987
Statistics with regard to services completed up to 1994 in the former TBVC states and self-governing territories are not readily available and would require further research. However, statistics post 1994 are as follows:
1. Hlanganani / Waterval 2000
2. Nqamakwe 2000
3. Tsomo 2000
4. Maluti 2000
5. Lady Frere 2000
6. Bizana 2000
7. Sterkspruit 2000
8. Umtata 2000
9. FIagstaff 2000
10. Mqanduli 2000
11. Mount Frere 2000
12. Libode 1998
13. Cofimvaba 1998
14. Elliotdale 1998
15. Engcobo 1998
16. Qumbu 1998
17. Tsolo 1998
18. Willowvale 1998
19. Jabankulu 1998
20. Ngqeleni 2000
21. Nyanga 1998
22. Gamalakhe / Ramsgate 2000
23. Soweto 1996
24. Thembalethu 2000
25. Botshabelo 2001
26. Khayelitsha 2002
27. Nsimbini 2001
28. Leboeng 2001
29. Khutsong 2002
30. Blue Downs 2002
31. Peddie 2002
32. Lenasia 1990
33. Verulam 1995
34. Masoye 1996
35. Bosfontein 1996
36. Manguzi 1996
B. MAJOR WORKS IN PLANNING
14. Polokwane (High Court)
(page 5 and 6 not included)