Justice Today

Justice Today, Mar 2021

Justice in Action

Maintenance applications to go digital

Days of long queues and piles of papers to submit maintenance application will gradually be history. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) plans to migrate from paper based manual maintenance system to an Online Maintenance Solution. This forms part of the Department’s strategy to¬† introduce online service channels in order to improve access to justice services and improve the efficiency on the services are provided.

Currently Magistrate Courts receive thousands of manual requests for maintenance claims and at times the complainant is not aware what documentation is required which leads to them having to make multiple trips to the maintenance court.

The new system seeks to ease the current cumbersome process by creating a Web Portal for submission of maintenance application forms online. It will also enable the user to track how far the application is in the system. The Portal will further inform the user on their next Court appearance. “Our goal is to use technology to simplify lengthy processes and continue to improve access to justice services for all”. Senior Legal Administration Officer, Josephine Peta said.

The introduction of the Online Maintenance Solution will co-exist for the foreseeable future with the paper-based system to ensure access to justice services continues uninterrupted for the complainants who lack access to internet facilities.

“We are looking forward to pilot the project first in KwaZulu Natal, followed by Gauteng during August/September 2021/22 financial year”. Peta said.

Peta further says on the international stage, the model puts South Africa head and shoulder with first world countries like Canada and Australia. It will be the first of its kind in the African continent.

MAINTENANCE WEB PORTAL: WHAT A USER WILL BE ABLE TO DO

  • The Complainants will be able to register for access to the Web Portal
  • The Complainants will be able to be able to log in with a unique username and password to enable authentication
  • The Complainants will be able to complete the maintenance application online and submit to the Maintenance Clerk
  • The Complainants will be able to be change password
  • The Complainants will be able to manage/update his/her profile
  • The Complainants will be able to upload the supporting documents
  • The Maintenance Clerk should be able to receive, review, download and print the maintenance application submitted by the Complainant.

By Solly Kganyago