Protecting the Public Interest in South Africa

Siyanda informal settlement. Photo by: Edward Molopi, SERI

Public Interest Legal Services include litigation, advocacy and other methods employed by public interest legal organisations to effect change and make a positive impact on lives of vulnerable and marginalised people in South Africa.

This site is a space to find public interest legal organisations, learn about the methods they use to bring about social change, and follow the impact that these organisations have made in South Africa.

Featured Issue: Housing and Land

South Africa faces a shortage of affordable housing, particularly in urban areas, forcing many people continue to live in informal settlements or overcrowded conditions. The Constitution sets forth the rights of South Africans.

Soper Road, inner city, Johannesburg. Photo by: Edward Molopi, SERI

Latest News

Activists demand end to TotalEnergies offshore drilling
The French multinational company wants to drill for oil and gas along the coastline near Cape Town, the West Coast and the Garden Route By Qaqamba...

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Here’s how South Africa’s social grant system has changed since 1994
SASSA pays 26-million grants every month By Daniel Steyn The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) spent R232-billion on social grants in 2022 – about 11%...

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Joburg City to blame for “dark buildings” crisis say property owners
Albert Street fire tragedy sparks renewed attempt to evict hundreds of people living in derelict downtown buildings By Kimberly Mutandiro Owners of a number of “dark...

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What happens to my visa if I, a non-citizen, divorce from my permanent resident spouse?
The short answer The Director-General of Home Affairs can issue an order that will allow a foreign ex-spouse who applies for a visitor’s or relative’s...

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My landlord exploited and over-charged us because we only had a verbal lease agreement, and eventually evicted us. Can he get away with that?
The short answer You can lay a complaint against him at the rental housing tribunal and also against the estate agent who tried to evict...

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How can I stop unauthorised deductions from my SASSA grant?
The short answer You can submit a dispute of the deduction to SASSA The whole question Dear Grethen There is a life insurance company that...

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PILS Organisations - An Interactive Map

The interactive map below introduces a range of public interest legal service organisations in South Africa. Click on the menu to the left to zoom in on social justice organisations and the community advice offices in each province, or use the search to find organisations.

Click on the top-left icon on the map to expand it to full-screen, and press escape to exit full-screen.