A Master of the High Court is appointed for every provincial division
of the High Court of South Africa. Masters' Offices are situated
in Bloemfontein , Cape Town , Grahamstown , Kimberley , Mmabatho/Mafikeng
, Nelspruit, Pietermaritzburg , Pretoria , Umtata , Bisho, Thohoyandou,
Johannesburg, Polokwane, Durban, and Port
The Master of the High Court is a creature of statute and various Acts regulate the duties and powers of the Master.
The most important of these are the Administration of Estates Act, 1965 (Act 66 of 1965), the Insolvency Act, 1936 (Act 24 of 1936), the Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973), the Close Corporations Act, 1984 (Act 69 of 1984) and the Trust Property Control Act, 1988 (Act 57 of 1988).
The Rationalisation of the Administration of Estates Act, 1965, which includes the functioning of the Guardian's Fund and the appointment of the Master, has not been yet completed. In terms of the present Act the Master's Offices execute inter alia the following functions:
The Masters and their staff are specialists in the field of the administration of the abovementioned matters and their role in the effective and rapid settlement of those matters is essential.They have an ever-increasing scope of duties and an exacting workload.
The Masters' staff are in daily contact with practicing attorneys, chartered accountants, insolvency practitioners, persons attached to trust companies, boards of executors, commercial banks and other financial institutions, valuators of estate goods and members of the general public.
In the general public's view the Master is still the pater familias of widows and those incapable of managing their own affairs.
In view of the fact that people from the previously disadvantaged groups have become more active and involved in the economical and financial life of the country, the personnel in the Masters' Offices are more and more called upon to get involved in an advisory capacity with those not previously exposed to the functions and duties of the Masters' Offices.
The staff in the Masters' Offices regard this contribution to the development of all very seriously.
"A dynamic, business like, commercially-viable Masters Division dedicated to the pursuit of service excellence"
"To provide efficient, cost effective and specialised services of supervision, custodianship, arbitration and information regarding Deceased and Insolvent Estates and Trusts. To serve Estate practitioners, beneficiaries of Estates and Trusts, minors and mentally challenged persons in South Africa for the purpose of safeguarding those beneficiaries' financial and proprietary rights."