Werksmans has re-opened the Diepsloot Law Clinic offering free legal services to low income consumers in Diepsloot every Tuesday from 9h00 until 12h00 at the SANCA Counselling House, between Akani Foundation and BASA Primary School. In order to qualify for free assistance, applicants must earn a gross monthly household income of R7000 or less. This is stipulated by the Law Society of the Northern Provinces. They will need to bring their proof of identity (ID if they have one or passport/refugee permit) and proof of income (such as a salary slip). We will offer legal services relating to the following types of queries:
- late registration of births/access to ID;
- consumer protection queries;
- understanding any type of contract including instalment sale agreements, cellphone contracts etc;
- queries on retirement policies, insurance policies;
- review of social grant applications that SASSA has already refused;
- garnishee order queries;
- lease agreements/housing related queries;
- information on maintenance claims and
- labour law queries.
We also offer FREE training workshops on a host of legal topics to organisations. We have previously held workshops on maintenance, harassment and consumer protection. You may contact us if you require any legal training. We are happy to consider your organisations specific needs and develop a training workshop which could assist your beneficiaries. Please note that at this stage we will not be able to assist with:
- family law cases (divorces, custody of children)
- domestic violence
- criminal law cases
- debt counselling
The law clinic is stocked with free consumer education publications, brochures and newspapers on a range of topics. We will see people on a Tuesday morning on a first come, first served basis or theycan make an appointment by phoning Zizipho on 011 535 8358 or [email protected]
14 June 2019
Johannesburg residents struggling to pay for municipal rates and services have been thrown a lifeline that could see half, if not more, of their debts written off.
The city approved a break-through debt-rehabilitation programme at a council sitting on Thursday.
Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni said in a statement that tough economic times called for an “innovative approach to mounting municipal debt”.
The idea is to ensure that defaulting ratepayers are brought back into good standing on their municipal accounts.
“The broad concept of the programme hinges on an application process that will allow for strained household owners to apply for municipal debt rehabilitation,” said Ngobeni.
“Qualifying customers will receive immediate relief through a 50% debt write-off. If the customer complies with all the requirements of the programme, which include keeping their current accounts up to date and allowing for regular inspection of metered services, then the remaining outstanding debt will be written off over a three-year period.”
The criteria to qualify for the programme will be:
• A write-off is only applicable to residential account holders.
• The account holder’s account balance is in arrears for more than 90 days as at June 30 2019.
• The combined gross income from all activities of the account holder and spouse must be between R4,750 and R22,000 per month.
• The market value of the property and all properties owned by the applicant must not exceed R600,000.
The city will embark on educational roadshows in August and the application process is scheduled to start in September.
23 April 2019
Just a stone throw away from Steyn City, one of SA's wealthiest suburbs, lies Diepsloot, an ever-growing post-apartheid township that is home to more than 400,000 people.
The Johannesburg northern township is a hive of activity on any given day. Taxis enter and leave on the R511 at sporadic intervals. An informal traders market lies on the periphery of the township - ushering visitors into the bustling location.
"It wasn't always like this. This place was just a piece of unoccupied land before 1995," explains Madlozi Ndlazi as he muses over Diepsloot's rapid population growth over the past 24 years.
Ndlazi is one of the first people to call Diepsloot home after settling there in 1995 following lengthy court battles with the Transvaal Provincial Administration (TPA).
Driven by the need to serve his community, the 55-year-old explained how the township grew parallel with the country's democracy.
"TPA started developing Diepsloot West after we won a court battle to occupy the land in 1993. We came from Zevenfontein and Zandspruit. TPA then gave us communal toilets and taps shared by between 10-15 stands per tap and toilet. There were about 1,100 people living in the township.
"There were about 1,200 stands that were allocated; 100 were for community sites such as schools, parks, and the police station but we did an integrated development plan in 1996," Ndlazi explained.
Ndlazi is a flowing conduit of knowledge, having served as the first PR councillor between 1996 and 2001.
"There was a community from Alexandra that was relocated here after grabbing land in 1996. The government bought a huge piece of land in Number 1 and it was called a 'reception area', which accommodated people who lived in areas known as danger zones.
"Alex people lived next to [the] Jukskei River. About 80 families from Riverlea were relocated here after they were found to be living on a mine dump. About 45 families from Kya Sand were brought here after they were found living on a dumping site," he said.
Warning: this story contains graphic content.
A man stands outside wearing a Qantas pyjama top, watering the dirt road to keep the dust down. I point at the kangaroo logo and tell him it's from Australia. He shrugs his shoulders and smiles. I don't know how the pyjamas got all the way here. It's a bit like the way many people end up in Diepsloot. No-one really planned it. But, once they are here, it's difficult to get out.
The township began in 1995. Its first residents were brought here from the riverbanks in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, where their shacks were at risk of flooding. The government promised them a better life, but it hasn't come true for most. The townhouses and malls of suburban Johannesburg are growing closer to Diepsloot, but in some ways their opportunities seem further away.