Proceedings are well underway at the new Drakenstein Municipal Court, which officially opened its doors in Paarl on 1 December.
A municipal court, a division of a magistrate’s court, focuses on the handling of municipal matters, such as traffic violations, breach of building regulations and the contravention of municipal bylaws dealing with, among other issues, nuisance and health regulations.
Warrants are also being issued by the presiding magistrate, while all new traffic, law-enforcement and building plan infringements are referred to the municipal court for appearance and trial purposes.
The court is manned by a magistrate appointed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, together with a prosecutor and court staff appointed by the municipality.
Dr Johan Leibbrandt, City Manager of Drakenstein Municipality, said: “The new court underlines the seriousness of bylaw contraventions, and assists the municipality in enforcing law and order in all earnest. Members of the public who usually have had to appear before the Magistrate’s Court for traffic-related offences or other municipal matters, will now appear before the municipal court.”
In the past there was limited space on court rolls for municipal matters, but the new municipal court at 60 Breda Street ensures more municipal bylaw contraventions are effectively dealt with.
Currently, all older cases are being transferred from the Paarl Magistrate’s Court and Wellington Magistrate’s Court to the new municipal court.
Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein, said the municipal court will greatly contribute to improved service delivery.
“Our vision is to grow Drakenstein as a city of excellence, and this court will go a long way to helping us to reach our goal.”
According to the municipality the strong partnership with the Department of Justice, Director of Public Prosecutions and all stakeholders ensures the court delivers an enhanced service to residents. . The municipal court’s operating hours are from 08:00 to 13:00 and then 13:30 to 15:45, Mondays to Thursdays. On Fridays its hours are from 08:00 to 13:00, and then 13:30 to 14:30. On weekends and public holidays it is closed.
For more information on the municipal court, contact the municipality on 080 131 3553 (toll-free).