SA’s Equality Courts deemed inefficient

In 2013 the Equality Court heard 310 cases but in only six of these cases was judgment handed down.

FILE: A more detailed report on the reasons for increasing inequality in South Africa will be released by the SAHRC later this year. Picture: RSC Inc.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has deemed the country's Equality Courts 'inefficient' and says a lack of training, staff and public awareness now means government must go back to the drawing board to address the underutilisation.

The SAHRC has asked the Justice Department to speed up the implementation of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

It's also bemoaned the lapse of time without outstanding appointments to the equality review committee being finalised.

In 2013 the Equality Court heard 310 cases but in only six of these cases was judgment handed down.

The rest of the cases were either dismissed, referred or remain unresolved and chairperson of the SAHRC Lawrence Mushwana says this reflects the underutilisation.

"The Equality Courts are extremely underutilised. We are struggling to find out exactly what is causing the underutilisation. You find that even when you get to the court there is nothing that tells you where the Equality Court is and people who were trained were not utilised and had to be moved to other departments."

A more detailed report on the reasons for increasing inequality in South Africa will be released by the commission later this year.