How to make a Claim in the Small Claims Court in South Africa

Small Claims Court

The South African legal system is robust and is geared towards fair legal avenues for the citizens of the country.

In South Africa, the Small Claims Court offers a quicker and easier way of resolving disputes involving amounts limited to R15 000. You don’t need a lawyer to represent you at a Small Claims Court. Anyone, except juristic persons may institute a claim in this court.

How to make a claim in the Small Claims Court

You first need to ensure that the opposing party is able to compensate you should the judgement be in your favour.

You need to then contact the opposing party either in writing or telephonically. Give the opposing party 14 days from receipt of your letter to settle your claim. You should ensure that you deliver the written demand by hand or registered post to the opposing party.

Your next step will involve going to the clerk of the court with proof that the written demand was delivered and proof upon which your claim is based, along with the full name and telephone number of the opposing party.

Using the information you have provided, the clerk of the court will assist you in drawing up the summons. You’ll be informed of the date and time of the hearing of the case.

You, as the plaintiff, must deliver the original summons and return of service to the clerk of the court.

If your claim has not been satisfied, you must appear in court in person. Witnesses to your claim may be present, but no advocate or attorney may appear on your behalf.

After the judgement made, you need to abide by the decision of the court.

You can contact the Clerk of the Small Claims Court through your local magistrate’s office.