The Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Honourable Bernice Swarts MP, recently undertook a visit to the Soshanguve Township Magistrates Court project site to assess the progress being made towards its completion. This visit aimed to fast track service delivery and ensure that the court, situated in the township, brings justice services closer to the community. The Deputy Minister emphasized the importance of timely completion, stating that justice delayed is justice denied. The expected timeframe for project completion is December 2023.
The Soshanguve Magistrates Court project, awarded in 2019, holds a significant budget of over R300 million. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and is dedicated to serving the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The project team, consisting of professionals from the Construction Industry, joined the Deputy Minister and other stakeholders to discuss challenges faced during the implementation and devise strategies to expedite service delivery.
Highlighting the significance of the court being established in the township, Deputy Minister Swarts remarked, “The court is being brought to the people, and it is important that this court is situated where the services are needed because our people need justice.”
The Soshanguve Township, like many other similar areas, has faced challenges with access to justice services. By bringing the court closer to the community, residents will have easier access to essential legal resources and processes, leading to a more efficient and fair judicial system.
One notable initiative associated with the court’s construction is the recruitment of young people under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) National Youth Service (NYS). This program aims to provide occupational skills to youth participants, enabling them to access sustainable livelihood opportunities. The EPWP-NYS program for the Soshanguve Township Magistrates Court project involved the training of 85 participants in various trades, including Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering (bricklaying and plumbing), Mechanical Engineering (diesel and fitting & turner), and Upholstery trade at NQF Level 2 (127 credits). The total cost of this initiative amounted to R5,968,299.91.
As of July 2023, the EPWP participants have successfully completed their training, equipping them with valuable skills that can contribute to their personal growth and benefit the broader community. Initiatives like these not only support economic development but also empower young individuals to become self-reliant and contribute to the growth of the nation.
The completion of the Soshanguve Township Magistrates Court is eagerly awaited by the community and stakeholders involved in the project. Once operational, it is expected to alleviate the burden on neighboring courts and facilitate access to justice services for thousands of residents within the township.
Deputy Minister Swarts reiterated the commitment of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to fast track the project’s completion and ensure the provision of quality infrastructure. With December 2023 as the target date for completion, the project team is working tirelessly to overcome challenges and deliver a fully functional court that meets the needs of the community it serves.
In conclusion, the Soshanguve Township Magistrates Court project represents a significant step towards improving access to justice services for the local community. It stands as a testament to the government’s dedication to address the needs of its citizens and promote inclusivity in the justice system.