Calls for comment on legal aid bill

The new legal aid bill seeks to repeal existing legislation which is regarded as outdated.

FILE: Parliament has called for public comment on the new Legal Aid Bill which has caused vigorous debate since it was introduced last week. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament on Wednesday called for public comment on the new legal aid bill which has caused vigorous debate since it was introduced last week.

The bill seeks to repeal the existing legislation which was enacted over 40-years ago and is regarded as outdated.

The proposed legislation was introduced to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development last week, prompting a vigorous discussion on the independence of the new Legal Aid board which will be appointed by Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha.

The committee's chairperson Mathole Motshekga says "There is a need to align the provision of legal aid in the country with the new constitutional dispensation and also to establish Legal Aid South Africa as an independent authority."