South African budget aims to ease pressure on courts

This week’s Budget brought good news for the upgrading and construction of court buildings, a Sake24 report notes.

Apart from the Department of Justice’s infrastructure budget, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced an additional R300m (US$39m) injection. The investment in infrastructure is expected to increase to R1.3bn (US$0.17bn) by 2014-15.

Six big developments are planned, including two new High Court buildings in Polokwane and Nelspruit. It is expected that these two courts will alleviate the pressure on the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg will also be expanded.

Smaller courts are planned in Orlando (Soweto), Katlehong and Mamelodi in Gauteng, Richards Bay in northern KwaZulu-Natal and Bitya and Dimbiza in the Eastern Cape.

The report notes Gordhan also said the Special Investigations Unit, which investigates corruption via Presidential proclamation, would have 10 000 cases ready for litigation by the end of the 2011-12 financial year.

A new law governing the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), which investigates deaths in police custody as well as other forms of police misconduct, comes into effect in April 2012, on which date the ICD will become the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

An amount of R127m (US$16.5m) is set aside to employ an additional 212 employees and to supply equipment to the IPID. The number of cases to be investigated by the IPID is expected to increase from 5 750 tot 6 750 in 2014-15.


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