DA pressure leads to upgrades at Humansdorp Court

After 15 years of false starts and broken promises, the residents of Humansdorp will finally have a functional and decent court precinct to attend to their legal requirements.

This follows numerous oversight inspections and enquiries over the years from various members of the Democratic Alliance (DA).

“Following my oversight inspection at the court on 13 October 2020, I submitted a detailed report on the issues being faced by the staff and public at the existing court precinct and urged the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to speed up their processes to ensure that construction could begin as soon as possible,” said Samantha Graham-MarĂ©, MP – DA Shadow Minister for Public Works.

Parliamentary questions were also submitted to ascertain what would be done to address the most pressing concerns.

“Security and ablutions are two of the most urgent concerns we raised in our reports and parliamentary questions.

There are a large number of female personnel on the site, and there have been various incidents where members of the public and staff have been attacked due to a lack of security infrastructure and personnel.

The toilet facilities were an abomination with no facilities whatsoever for female members of the public. The toilets in the holding cells are appalling, and there are no toilets in the overflow area used to house females and juveniles when the main holding cells are full,” said Graham-Mare.

“The holding cells themselves are woefully insufficient, both from a capacity point of view and a security perspective. Members of the public can freely gain access to these cells.

The lack of proper space for the administration of the courts means piles of dockets stored in passages and on the floors of offices.

There are no offices or areas where lawyers can confer with their clients, and the seating and waiting areas for people required to attend court are almost non-existent.

There is only one broken chair for the people attending court on maintenance issues, which stands out in the open. People deserve to be treated better than this.

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the Democratic Alliance is extremely pleased to note that there has been site establishment by the appointed contractor on the premises to begin the renovations.

Cllr Hennie Britz, who has been driving this issue for years, and I will be monitoring the progress of the build closely to ensure that nothing prevents this project from being completed on time and within budget.

Persistence pays, and only the DA has been pushing for the renovations of the Humansdorp Magistrate Court because it is only the DA that gets things done,” concluded Graham-Mare.

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