Free legal services in Diepsloot

 

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 nmotsiri@werksmans.com 

r444m upgrade commences on gauteng's n14 freeway

 

Posted by Riante Naidoo on May 19, 2017 in News, Transport

 

The N14 freeway between Diepsloot and Brakfontein will be undergoing a R444 million upgrade over the next two years. The project was launched at the beginning of May by Ismail Vadi, Gauteng MEC for roads and transport.

Vadi said the 21km project will rehabilitate the remaining portion of the N14 freeway that connects Centurion and Krugersdorp. The road also offers alternate routes to the Sandton CBD, Lanseria Airport and Diepsloot. “This is a toll-free project and follows the completion of the first phase of the N14 project from Krugersdorp to Diepsloot,” Vadi said. He said the N14, which was originally constructed in 1978, had reached the end of its life span. “With traffic volumes on the N14 growing at a rate of 3.2 percent per annum, the freeway has seen sharp increases in traffic flows, particularly at peak times, necessitating its upgrade,” he said.

Construction

The project will see the addition of an additional third lane to the freeway to increase mobility during peak times. This will be a fast lane. The project will also see the reconstruction of sub-base where required, existing defective asphalt will be removed, new road markings will be painted, existing bridges will be repaired, and new guardrails will be installed where necessary.

Vadi indicated that the project has been designed to improve the structural and functional condition of the road by means of strengthening the pavement structure and providing a new asphalt overlay. New concrete lined drains and subsoil drains will also be added and aid in the preservation of the pavement structure. He said this will add to the safety of the road user.

Additional objectives of the project include the provision of skills development opportunities, as well as to provide training and economic empowerment to local contractors.

Vadi ended his address by appealing to motorists to exercise extra caution on the road during the upcoming 24 month construction period.

 

South Africa’s rape epidemic

 

BROWN LEKEKELA dreads the end of the month. Payday means binge drinking. Violence follows. Women turn up battered and distraught at his gate, usually with small children in tow. They have nowhere else to go: Mr Lekekela’s emergency shelter, Green Door, is the only one in all of Diepsloot, a hardscrabble township north of Johannesburg that is home to an estimated half a million souls. The shelter, built in the yard of his humble house, can fit two women and their children, plus maybe one more family on the couch in his office. He runs it on donations and sheer willpower.

Mr Lekekela has a first-aid kit and some training to treat minor injuries. For more serious ones, it can take hours for an ambulance to arrive. Sometimes the women (or their children) have been raped. But with no other income or support, they often end up returning to their abusive partners. “It’s hard,” says the soft-spoken Mr Lekekela. “But if I don’t do it, who will?”

Rape and domestic violence are hard to measure, since victims often suffer in silence. And headline-writers overuse the word “epidemic”. But in South Africa it clearly applies. For a study published in November by the University of the Witwatersrand and Sonke Gender Justice, a non-profit group, 2,600 men in Diepsloot were surveyed anonymously. An astonishing 38% admitted to having used force or threats to obtain sex in the preceding year. Add those who said they had beaten, hurt or threatened to use a weapon against a woman, and the share jumps to 54%. Of those men, more than half said they had committed such crimes more than once.

Many men in Diepsloot, as in many other parts of South Africa, do not think they are doing anything wrong. They think they have a right to use force against their partners. In addition, many of the men interviewed had themselves experienced childhood abuse or trauma. Some were mentally ill. Those who abuse others suffer few consequences, whether from the law or neighbours. Diepsloot, a warren of shacks with pockets of small houses, did not exist until the mid-1990s, so everyone comes from somewhere else. “These men think they can do whatever they like,” says Precious Moeketsi, a 28-year-old with two young children who shares a shack with her sister’s family. “I feel worried living here.”

Although South Africa has strict laws against violence, they are spottily enforced. Researchers found that of 500 sexual-assault cases reported to the police in Diepsloot since 2013, only one resulted in a conviction. Small wonder rape is so rarely reported. (Researchers guess that police are informed about only one of every nine sexual assaults in South Africa.) Women worry about what friends and family will think. Some fear reprisals. Policemen are sometimes sceptical and tell women to go home and smooth things over. Even officers who take the issue seriously are hamstrung. Diepsloot’s police station has no specialist unit for rape and sexual-assault cases; the nearest one takes an hour to get to. The closest state hospital that can examine victims is 30km away.

Simply getting to court can be steep barrier. To get a restraining order, for example, a woman in Diepsloot will have to pay 26 rand ($2) for a round trip by minibus-taxi to the nearest magistrates’ court—a lot of money for a woman with no job. Lawyers Against Abuse, a non-profit group, supports women with free legal and psychological services offered from a refurbished shipping container near the police station. The cycle of abuse “will become the culture of how we live”, frets Mr Lekekela. “But this is not how we are supposed to live.”

This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition of The Economist under the headline "Disgrace"

Diepsloot protest puts a stop to thousands of residents from going to work.

 

“The R511 is affected between Sandton and Centurion. That road should be avoided completely and the N14 from Krugersdorp is also being affected. More officials are being sent to the scene to direct traffic. Motorists can make use of the N1 as an alternative route this morning‚” said Minnaar.

Many residents were left stranded as all exist points were barricaded by the protesters. The residents from Diepsloot Ext 1, 2, 7 and 12 were protesting against poor service delivery. Their demanding amongst other are, electricity and running water.