Please contact your nearest Provincial Office if you have any enquiries or complaints.
For more information regarding the Small Claims Courts, please approach the Small Claims Court Clerks at your nearest Magistrate’s Office.
An amount not exceeding R 20 000. (This amount is determined by the Minister from time to time in the Government Gazette, GG 42282, GoN 296, 05 Mar 2019, which comes into effect on 01 Apr 2019. If your claim exceeds R 20 000 in value, you can institute a claim for a lesser amount to pursue your case in the Small Claims Court.
Justice on Air: Small Claims Court: Monetary Jurisdiction Increase -
Resident legal expect, Nqobizitha Mlilo and Senior Small claims commissioner at the Thembisa magistrates court, Mr Henro Du Plessis discuss the Small Claims Court. 06 Mar 2019,
IONO FM (https://iono.fm/e/663042)
Cautionary principle for persons using the Small Claim Courts.
If you intend instituting a claim in the Small Claims Court, ensure that the opposing party is able to compensate you should the judgment be in your favour. It is futile to institute a claim against another person who is unemployed and who possesses no property.
CONTACT THE PERSON WHOM YOU HAVE A DISPUTE WITH
Contact the person with whom you have a dispute in person, in writing or telephonically and ask them to settle your claim.
GO TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT
If the person owing your money has not paid the claim in 14 days, go to the small claims court with:
• a copy of the letter of demand.
• any contract or agreement between you and the person which proves the claim
• a post slip or any other document that proves that the letter of demand was handed to the person.
• The person’s personal and contact details.
The clerk of the court will prepare a summons which will force the person to come to court at the set date. The summons will be delivered by you or the sheriff of the court. Please always remember the date and time during which your case will be heard.
On the day of the court hearing, you must bring proof that the summons was delivered to the person you are claiming from. The court procedure is informal and not complicated. You will be expected to tell your story and answer questions from the commissioner of the small claims court.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE PERSON WHO OWES YOU
If the person who, for example; owes you money refuses to pay, they should then be sent a letter of demand which indicates all the facts and the specific amount you are claiming.
The letter must be delivered in person or by registered mail (the Post Office can assist). Once the person receives the letter, they are given 14 days within which to settle your claim.
If judgment is given in your favour, the person must pay the money immediately and will be issued a receipt. If they are not able to pay, the court will investigate their financial position and determine a payment plan.
FAILURE TO COMPLY
If the person does not settle the dispute as agreed, the matter will be referred to the magistrate’s court.
***Download this as a PDF: Step-by-step Guide
CHANGES EFFECTIVE FROM 1 APRIL 2023
This Guide is intended to highlight those changes made by the new Small Claims Court Rules which provide for new procedures, require new forms to be used or for new responsibilities being placed on clerks and functionaries of the Small Claims Courts.
As from 1 April 2023, the new Small Claims Court Rules come into operation and therefore as from this date, clerks must follow the new procedures outlined in this Guide and use the new forms provided with the Codified Instructions and NOT the forms that were being used before 1 April 2023. Training on the new procedures and forms is provided upon request and is dependent on scheduling and availability. Should any concerns arise or clarification on any of the procedures or forms be needed, Directors Legal at Provincial Offices are available to assist, either telephonically or via email.
Yilungelo Lakho, "It's Your Right" | Small Claims Court
Mr Modise Molekoa from the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development discussed the procedure for instituting and defending a claim in the Small Claims Court. SABCnews, 20 June 2023