Community Courts | Western Cape Government

Community Courts

Government has opened three Community Courts in Cape Town, Mitchell's Plain and Fezeka (Gugulethu/Mannenberg) to prosecute petty crimes in these areas.

The following actions are crimes on the streets of the City of Cape Town, in terms of Provincial Notices 562/1987 and 271/1995, and people who are arrested for these reasons will be sent to the Community Courts:

  • drinking in public
  • obstructing the free movement of pedestrians or traffic after being warned not to do so
  • urinating or defecating in public or on the street
  • littering
  • fighting in the street
  • swearing in the street
  • shouting, screaming or causing unnecessary noise in the steet
  • trespassing
  • gambling in the street
  • engaging in prostitution on the street.

Other petty offences or offences in terms of other by-laws, can also be sent to the Community Courts.

If a person is arrested in the afternoon or evening of a weekday they will spend the night in the police station cell. The following morning they will be sent to the cells at the Community Court, where they will be assessed and processed, if possible on the same day; the aim is for those arrested to spend only one night in cells. There are no postponements of cases.

Most cases are dealt with by the Community Courts within 36 hours of the person's arrest. However, if a person is arrested on a Friday or on the weekend they will have to wait until Monday morning to be transferred to the Community Court.

Social workers, representatives of non-government organisations such as NICRO, and lawyers from the Legal Aid Board and university law clinics are on permanent standby at the Community Courts.

Community Courts are part of the strategy to prevent major crime by dealing effectively with minor crimes. They will also help relieve the caseload of the Magistrates' Courts.

Community Courts are aimed at the rehabilitation of offenders; most sentences imposed by the Community Courts involve a fine, community service, or a suspended sentence, depending on the assessment of the person arrested.

For more information, you can contact the Community Court Co-ordinator:

Jacque Jacobs
021 462 5007
084 690 1030

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 5 September 2013