Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
1 April 2019
Additional magistrates’ courts have been designated for the application of mediation rules.
The justice and constitutional development department published the designation in Government Gazette 42344 in terms of the Rules Board for Courts of Law Act.
The mediation rules were published in 2014 setting out the procedure for the voluntary submission of civil disputes to mediation in selected courts.
Parties have the option to refer a dispute to mediation prior to the commencement of litigation or after commencement of litigation but prior to judgement provided that where the trial has commenced the parties must obtain the authorisation of the court.
Additional courts are located in the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape.
The designations apply from 1 July 2019.
Meanwhile, in Gazette 42343, the department has announced its intention to create magisterial districts, sub -districts and establish district courts in the Western Cape Province as part of the rationalisation of courts process.
Areas in which magisterial districts are proposed include Overberg, West Coast, City of Cape Town, Eden, Cape Winelands and Central Karoo.
Comments on the proposed districts, sub-districts and appointment of places for the holding of a court are invited until 15 April 2019.
In a separate matter, the department published a variation of Notice 219 published in 2004.
The Notice, published in terms of the Magistrates’ Courts Act, dealt with the creation of new regional divisions and the setting up of regional courts.
In the latest Notice, published in Gazette 42343, a new item 7 on the Northern Cape is inserted.
It comes into effect on 1 May 2019.