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Johannesburg Projects

The Community Advice Office Support Project (CAOSP

Venue: Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces

The project aims to support, upgrade and improve the legal services provided by community legal advice offices located in the abovementioned provinces. This is achieved by linking the advice offices to attorneys practising in their geographical locations, who then provide legal support.

The support provided by the attorneys includes: taking on cases referred by the advice offices, running workshops for the benefit of the paralegals and/or community members, or providing legal advice on more complex matters.

The Wills Project and Masters’ Offices Legal Clinics

ProBono.Org provides a free legal service to impoverished and vulnerable individuals and communities by accessing the pro bono services of the private legal profession. High quality professional legal assistance is rendered, extending access to justice to those without the resources to pay.

ProBono.Org provides many avenues for its clients to receive legal assistance, including opportunities to see lawyers at our Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban offices and to attend over 20 legal clinics operating from these offices and from other outlying venues such as courts.

ProBono.Org runs two projects that specifically deal with succession issues.

These are:

  • The Wills Project
  • The Masters’ Offices Legal Clinics

The Wills Project

The Wills Project provides education on wills and intestate succession to grass roots communities, non-governmental organisations and community based organisations. The education is aimed at empowering people to make choices that will assist their relatives in the event of their deaths. In particular, minor children are protected if there is only one parent and that parent stipulates in a will how the children should be cared for in the event of that parent dying. Having proper wills drawn up helps to avoid later family conflicts.

Workshop sessions are provided by volunteer attorneys on matters such as the reasons for having wills, what should be included in wills, the steps to be taken when someone passes away, including the procedures to follow around the guardianship of minors and reporting estates to the relevant authority. The attorneys draft wills for attendees who may require this service, pro bono.

The Masters’ Office Legal Clinics

ProBono.Org also facilitates weekly legal clinics at the Masters’ Offices in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg to assist individuals or families with legal issues related to estates valued at less than R250 000. The clinics are staffed by volunteer attorneys who attend to clients on a rotational basis. The types of matters seen include: advising on the procedure to follow when winding up deceased estates, the validity of wills, invalid letters of authority, invalid transfers of immovable property, incorrect or fraudulent estate transfers, evictions, maintenance, and removal of executors. If a matter requires further work, the attorney at the clinic takes the matter back to his or her firm, or refers the matter back to ProBono.Org to identify a law firm to take it on.

  • The Johannesburg Master’s Office Legal Clinic runs every Wednesday from 09h00 – 12h00 at 66 Marshall Street, Johannesburg.
  • The Durban Master’s Office Legal Clinic runs every Thursday from 10h00 – 12h30 at 2nd Floor, 2 Devonshire Place, Durban.
  • The Pretoria Master’s Office Legal Clinic runs on Tuesdays from 09h00 -13h00 at Thabo Sehume Street (cnr. Schoeman St), Pretoria.

You can register a will for free at the S A Registry of Wills and Testaments. See http://www.sarwt.org/ for more information.

One-Child-A-Year Campaign (OCAY)

 

 

In its practice, ProBono.Org identified a pressing need for children to be legally represented. In response, the One-Child-a-Year-Campaign (OCAY) was created on 18 June 2014 to provide legal support to children in need.

The intention of the project is not only to secure legal representation for children in need but also to get attorneys and/or advocates to supervise and monitor the entire court process, ensuring that a case is properly finalised for the benefit of the child.

This means that attorneys and advocates should not only represent children in court but also monitor the non-legal participants who are tasked by law to watch over these children, for instance social workers, intermediaries, psychologists, child protection organisations, case managers, foster parents and family members.

View the brochure here

The Community Advice Office Support Project (CAOSP

Venue: Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces

The project aims to support, upgrade and improve the legal services provided by community legal advice offices located in the abovementioned provinces. This is achieved by linking the advice offices to attorneys practising in their geographical locations, who then provide legal support.

The support provided by the attorneys includes: taking on cases referred by the advice offices, running workshops for the benefit of the paralegals and/or community members, or providing legal advice on more complex matters.

The Family House

An MOU was signed by ProBono.Org, the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and Birmingham University to take forward the idea of being able to obtain legal recognition for township houses that are customarily regarded as family houses. This would provide security of tenure and allow for inheritance by vulnerable family members. An expert panel of legal practitioners has been formed to draft policy proposals to be submitted to the Department’s operational planning meeting, where the Minister will have the opportunity to engage with the submissions.

AFSA Project

ProBono.Org is a sub-recipient of a grant made to the Aids Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) by the Global Fund. This is a 3-year programme to address human rights violations suffered by people with HIV/AIDS and TB. It involves training lawyers, community paralegals in 25 districts in eight provinces, identifying cases that are potential strategic impact cases and obtaining legal assistance and advice. The project has a manager and a financial administrator to implement the project. In 2020 we facilitated the training of 297 paralegals countrywide.

Durban Projects

Wills Project

Various

Volunteer attorneys hold seminars at hospices and old age homes catering to indigent persons to educate the public on the importance of having a valid will.

The workshops provide information, practical guidance and assistance to participants who want to draw up a will.

Contact person: nicole@probono.org.za

NGO / NPO Project
We provide legal support / advice and assistance to NGO’s / NPO’s. Attorneys assist with incorporation and compliance with legal issues. We have also commenced with legal seminars and workshops for beneficiaries of some  NGO’s / NPO’s.

Contact person: shamika@probono.org.za

Formal Traders Project

We were recently approached by a group of formal traders that are trading at Warwick Junction in central Durban. They have an issue with the eThekwini Municipality regarding a new registration system that the eThekwini Municipality wants the traders to sign up for. Due to the traders not providing their information to register on the system, the eThekwini Municipality has instructed the Metro Police to forcefully remove the traders and issue them with fines. Shepstone and Wylie via Mr Donnelly has consulted with clients and agreed to assist them.

Micro Traders Support Project

Venue: Unit 310 3rd Floor, Cowey Park, 91-123 Problem Mkhize Road, Morningside,Durban 4001

ProBono.Org, in partnership with Asiye eTafuleni, a non-profit organisation which works closely with urban informal workers, offers the following assistance to street traders:

  • Assistance with tracing goods confiscated by Metro Police
  • Enquiring about permit applications made to the Business Support Unit
  • Referrals to appropriate support organisations
  • Unjustified or unconstitutional limitations on the right to trade

For more information on this project contact: shamika@probono.org.za

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