It is my great pleasure to be with you all today as we take another step towards improving service delivery to residents of our beautiful city.
A special word of welcome to the Deputy Minister and colleagues from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
I would also like to thank the City’s staff for their work on this project that will indeed see us continue to make progress possible together.
Mitchells Plain is one of our oldest and most populated communities and many of the facilities are overburdened and infrastructure is ageing.
But today we can be proud that we are standing in a modern subcouncil office with the brand new municipal court next door.
The proximity of these two important facilities means residents can conduct all their City business easily in one vicinity which is also in the same precinct as the local library.
Since entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the office of the Department of Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and other stakeholders, the first municipal court was established in April 2000, known as the City Hall Municipal Court.
From then, the City has established municipal courts in all 11magisterial districts within the boundaries of the City of Cape Town.
Previously the Mitchells Plain Municipal Court operated from the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court.
The need for a dedicated building focusing only on municipal court matters was identified in order to streamline the process and enhance service delivery at the court.
As part of our commitment to enhance service delivery, the City invested around R4,7million to develop this new court building.
Construction started in July 2017 and I was very pleased to hear that it had been completed at the end of March this year.
Between June 2016 and July 2017, more than 24 500 traffic cases were enrolled. With more space in the new building and a streamlined process, the staff will be able to work more effectively.
The high number of traffic offences is evidence of the carnage on our roads as motorists simply do not obey the law.
Unfortunately, one of the reasons that they don’t obey the law is because they know they can come to court and ask for relief and a reduction of their fines and they will go back to repeating the same offences.
Our motorists simply must show more respect for the law and for people’s safety and people’s lives.
So many lives and young children’s lives are cut short due to reckless driving and it is time that we put an end to this and show more respect on the roads and for life.
With this new building, it is our hope that we can serve residents more effectively.
As a stand-alone building, it is also more accessible to our community as it is within walking distance from the train station and MyCiTi bus station.
Residents coming to pay their fines or attend to cases on by-law related matters also no longer have to be exposed to hardened criminals as was the case at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court.
This is now a one-stop shop with the court room, magistrate’s office, Prosecutor’s office, the administration/back office, enquiries and the cashier cubicles all in a better and more controlled proximity as compared to the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court.
This is indeed in keeping with the City’s commitments in our Organisational Development and Transformation Plan to be a more customer-centric organisation.
Once again, my thanks to everyone involved in making this a reality in such a short space of time.
I wish the staff all the best and hope that their new place of work will keep inspiring them to give their best service to residents every day.
A special thank you again to the Deputy Minister and all our colleagues in the Justice Department for coming to share this day with us and for your continued commitment to a great working relationship.
Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi, shukran and God Bless.