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

Everything you need to know about social grants
For people who receive a grant or need to receive one. By Gabrielle Kelly and GroundUp Staff This is an overview of South Africa’s social grant system and...

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Court dismisses MEC’s attempt to quash inquiry into her “killing my health system” remark
“The holding of political office and remaining registered as a medical practitioner are not mutually exclusive” says judge By Tania Broughton Last year in a widely...

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Not enough public participation: Constitutional Court scraps Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act
“The importance of public participation in South Africa cannot be understated,” say judges By Tania Broughton Parliament failed to ensure public participation before passing the Traditional...

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I got scammed by the lawyer when I tried to buy a property. How can I get my money back?
The short answer You can lodge a complaint with the Legal Practice Council and lay criminal charges with the police. The whole question Dear Athalie...

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Long delays at Home Affairs mean refugees are missing out on social grants
Legal Resources Centre says these delays are “incredibly worrying” By Bernard Chiguvare Refugees living in Limpopo say they have not been able to renew their status...

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Public display of old SA flag is hate speech, rules SCA
Ruling on the display of the flag in private homes to be determined at another hearing, if brought before a court By Tania Broughton The Supreme...

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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.