How does Legal aid Cape Town help?
The following is a short list of the many services Legal Aid Cape Town offer –
- Legal services to those who can’t afford a lawyer
- Help with criminal- and civil cases
- Justice Centres for advice, referrals and litigation
- Legal aid for divorce, violence, criminal offences and more
- Law clinics that conduct community outreach programmes
- Training and backup legal services to 45 paralegal advice offices
Legal Aid Cape Town helps with Setting up a Business
Nobody can predict what life dishes up, you live a law-abiding lifestyle but the actions of others can make it that you need a lawyer. Just setting up a business in South Africa can have legal issues. From registering the company, taking on staff, drawing up contracts, dismissing an employee, income tax returns right down to protecting your business name. As a businessman in South Africa, you are faced right from the outset with many legal decisions.
To start with, a business person needs to choose between becoming a sole trader or setting up a company with partners. It’s best not to make this type of decision alone, and the advice of an attorney with commercial experience should be sought. For people with not much money, they daren’t even think of starting any kind of a business without legal aid to turn to. So what is the solution in the Western Cape?
Help for Those who Can’t afford Legal advice
Legal Aid Cape Town offers assistance to cash strapped people and makes legal help available. Legal Aid is a stand-alone authority whose role it is to provide legal advice at the States expense.
In Cape Town, the legal aid offices are found at 3rd Floor South African Reserve Bank Building, 60 St. Georges Mall, Justice Centre. Tel: 021 426 4126, Fax: 021 949 2534. Postal address: P O Box 516, Cape Town, 8001. Docex address: Docex 19.
Legal Aid Cape Town can help you with criminal cases if you are suspected of committing a crime and civil cases, where a judge needs to decide on a dispute between 2 parties. Sometimes it happens that an issue can include a civil and criminal case. However, you can have access to justice. In South Africa, a number of delivery models for this legal aid have come about in the shape of community legal clinics.
Legal Aid for those Not Requiring the Means Test
For those who don’t have much money, like people on state grants, elderly people as well as children, qualify for legal aid at these clinics.
These people don’t have to take the Means Test. Legal aid is available to anyone living in South Africa and it is also available to asylum seekers according to the Refugees Act 130 of 1998. In civil cases, legal aid is not available to non-citizens.
Legal aid is provided at a much lower cost and sometimes free of charge. Therefore, if you require legal aid, you will need to fill in a form to determine how much you earn each month, this is known as the Means Test – there are always officials to help you fill in the form
If you are employed, you need to be earning less than R5 500 after tax to apply for legal aid – when it comes to households, legal aid is only given to households earning less than R6,000.00 a month
Some instances For which You can get Legal aid –
- Divorce, separation or disputes about children
- Criminal offences
- Domestic violence
- Challenging the decision of a local authority
- Consumer issues
- Employment claims such as unfair dismissal
- Evictions from farms
- Problems with benefit payments
Legal Aid uses Four service Delivery channels –
- Co-operation agreements
- Justice centres such as the one mentioned above in Cape Town
- Special litigation
- Other cost-effective ways of getting justice
Justice Centres, work like a law firm. Each of these centres have an attorney, candidate attorneys, professional assistants and paralegals. The centre offers legal assistance for criminal and civil matters plus advice, referrals and litigation.
The Legal Aid Clinic in Cape Town is a leading branch within the region and forms part of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape. The clinic provides free legal services to poor communities in the Western Cape. Apart from legal representation, the clinic also over legal training for candidate attorneys.
Who is Legal Aid South Africa?
Every person accused or arrested has a right to a fair trial and a lawyer at the States expense. The role of Legal Aid is to provide legal advice to those who can’t afford their own legal representation. Legal Aid applies a ‘means test’ to see whether you qualify for this aid.
Legal Aid South Africa assists those who qualify with criminal and civil cases, however, getting access to reliable legal advice in South Africa can be fraught with difficulty. Standard attorney fees can be in the region of R2000 an hour so quality legal services can be a relief, and it’s available from a Legal Aid office near you.
Standing between Law firms and the Client
Are you one of those people who has always been excluded from getting legal advice because you don’t have the financial means? Well, now you have an ally with Legal Aid who will help you sort out legal matters for you free of charge.