Accessing justice hard for the poor: Zuma

2011-07-08 11:11

Poverty and a lack of education has made it difficult for many South Africans to exercise their legal rights, President Jacob Zuma said today.

“They are powerless and usually cannot solve the conditions they find themselves in,” he said at the Access to Justice conference in Johannesburg.

“Poverty also makes it difficult for the poor to enjoy equal benefits of the provision of the law, when they do not have resources such as legal fees.”

He said government had set aside R2.5 billion to construct more courts because access to justice was hindered by a lack of transport, particularly in rural areas.

South Africa had made significant strides in improving access to justice since 1994 by abolishing many laws which were inconsistent with the Constitution.

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