South Africa will get a new online system for protection orders, divorces and criminal records

May 27, 2021

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It’s aimed at making the justice system more accessible and less paper-driven.

The Minister of Justice, Ronald Lamola recently gave his department’s budget speech and said that they will be creating a new online system where citizens can apply for a number of legal services. 

These services could traditionally only be obtained by going to court, filling in papers and filing them with the clerk. The services that will soon be offered online are applications for protection orders, expungement of criminal records, divorce matters (including maintenance) and an online deceased estates system. 

“This approach will drastically reduce queues and walk-in customers in the offices of the Masters or at the service points. The online deceased estate system will cut across the population as both rich and poor are affected by death,” Lamola said with specific reference to the deceased estates system. 

His department also seems on a roll, as they have also announced that they are working on an online platform for the registration and management of trusts.

“This will streamline the trust registration process and assist in curbing fraud as applicants will be able to lodge their applications online.

“This will assist with the workload of the trust sections as most information will be captured and scanned in by the applicants, freeing the masters’ hands to apply their minds thoroughly to the lodged documents and other clients,” he said.

They will also soon release a system for the serving of summons in an electronic format. Typically, this would have been done by the sheriff of the court in a very manual way.

Most of the new online services and systems are expected to come into operation in the 2021/2022 financial year.