How to contact PILS Organisations in South Africa

The public interest legal services sector is a site of great variety and experimentation. There are two broad kinds of public interest law centres: generalist and specialist. Each organisation employs different methodologies to address the issues and bring about change.

Organisations operate throughout South Africa and broadly include law clinics, legal aid centres, advice offices, pro bono work by attorneys and advocates, university centres, civil society organisations, and legal research and advocacy organisations.

PILS organisations provide free legal assistance to their clients. This site is designed to assist anyone legal assistance to contact a PILS organisation or access guides, reports and other resources. Please note that organisations are limited to taking cases that fall under their areas of intervention and for which they have capacity.

Interactive Map

On the main page of the website, and below, is the interactive map which lists the public interest legal service providers in South Africa by province and by type of organisation, which can be explored by scrolling and clicking.

Clicking on the menu to the left or a specific province enlarges that province and allows the viewer to see which organisations are operating in that province.

The map includes contact information for Advice Offices staffed by paralegals operating throughout the country, and the “More” link will take the viewer through to the “Directory of PILS Organisations” for their contact details.

Click on the top-left icon on the map to expand it to full-screen, use the search to find organisations, and pressing ‘Esc’ will exit full-screen.

Directory of PILS Organisations

This website maintains a directory of organisations and their contact information. Use the “Contacts” tab on the top menu to access the interactive map (above) and the “Directory of PILS Organisations”  hosted on the website. The directory contains contact information for all of the organisations on the site, listed by category, as well as information about the types of issues on which the organisation focuses and the methods it employs. The details are can be downloaded as .vcf file and added to lists of contacts.

Issues page

Use the “Issues” tab to access a list of each of the areas of intervention addressed by the public interest legal sector in South Africa. Selecting a specific issue such as “Workers’ Rights” will send you to an explanation of the area of work and list of organisations you can contact. For example, the ProBono.Org addresses criminal justice issues. You can then contact the organisation directly.

Resources tab

Users can click on the resources tab to access guides and research reports on various issues, information about community advice offices operating in South Africa, and information about public interest legal service organisations operating in South Africa.

Self-Help page (under the Resources tab)

The self-help page redirects users to Legal Aid SA’s self-help page which offers resources regarding specific issues.

Policy for being listed on the website

PILS organisations employ a wide variety of methods, including advisory work, research, public education, scrutinising legislation, policy analysis and advocacy in partnership with the state, and engaging in media campaigns. Any organisation which works to ensure the public good and employs one or more of these methods will be eligible to be included on the PILS website. The site will not share information about organisations that espouse hateful or racist values or espouse values that are in contradiction with the constitution.

Contacting the PILS Website

Unfortunately, this website is not able to respond to any legal issues.

This website is the result of cooperation of a number of organisations working in the field of Public Interest Legal Services.

These organisations are available as the first point of contact for any of the issues highlighted on this website.

Please contact these organisation directly, using the map above or our directory of PILS Organisations.

If you have a specific question about this website, or would like your organisation to be listed on this website, please use the adjacent form.