Justice Home The Constitution Flag

Equality Courts

Home> Courts> EQC > Documents: Step-by-Step Guide

Quick Links




  1. Approach your nearest Magistrates’ court and ask for the Equality court, you will find a clerk of the court who will give you a Form 2 to complete
  2. Form 2 is the Form to use when commencing proceedings at the equality court.
  3. If you need assistance in completing the form, the clerk of the equality court (clerk) will assist you or you can go to the offices of the South African Human Rights Commission or the Commission for Gender Equality near you for assistance.


  1. The clerk of the equality court must then notify the respondent (s) (the person (s) against whom you are lodging your complaint) about the complaint within 7 days using Form 3.


  1. The Respondent (s) has 10 days within which to reply
  2. Should the Respondent wish to state his/ her side of the case he/she will be given a copy of Form 4 which they must complete and return to the clerk within 10 days.
  3. The Clerk has 7 days from receipt of the response to notify the complainant of the respondent’s response.


  1. Within 3 days of the expiry of the period within which the respondent(s) is meant to reply, the clerk must refer the matter to the Presiding Officer (the Magistrate or Judge who will hear the matter).
  2. The Presiding Officer has 7 days to decide whether the matter is to be heard at the equality court or whether it should be referred to an alternative forum such as the South African Human Rights Commission.

If the Presiding Officer decides to refer the matter to the alternative forum, the clerk must notify the parties of the referral.
The alternative forum must deal with the matter as expeditiously as possible.
If it fails to do so or fails to resolve the matter, it must refer the matter back to the court with a report.
If the matter is referred back, the Court has 7 days within which to give instructions as to how the matter should be dealt with.


  1. If the Presiding Officer decides to hear the matter, the clerk must within 3 days assign a date for the directions hearing.

At the directions hearing, the Presiding Officer will sort out issues such as: when can parties come to trial, does anyone need an interpreter, should Assessors be used etc.