DA calls for Legislature debate on High Court relocation to Bisho

DA calls for Legislature debate on High Court relocation to Bisho

Today, the Democratic Alliance called on the Eastern Cape Legislature to debate the proposed relocation of the main seat of the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court from Makhanda to Bisho. This follows recommendations by the Committee on the Rationalisation of areas under the jurisdiction of the Division of the High Court of South Africa and Judicial Establishments.

The proposed changes could alter the jurisdictional landscape of the Eastern Cape, but not without far-reaching implications. An estimated 10,000 people stand to lose their jobs, which, in a province with the highest unemployment rate in the country, we cannot afford to lose.

Makhanda, which has built a robust employment network within the legal sector and other related industries, faces the risk of significant economic decline. The ripple effects of such a move could extend beyond job losses, affecting the socio-economic fabric of the community and undermining the economic stability of the Makana Local Municipality.

The Democratic Alliance’s motion urges the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature to thoroughly debate the feasibility, viability, and practicability of this proposed move. Key considerations include the potential disruption to established employment networks, the broader economic impact on Makhanda, the socio-economic consequences, and the degree of public participation in the decision-making process.

Additionally, the motion calls for a careful assessment of Bisho’s infrastructure readiness and the projected costs associated with relocating the High Court.

Download motion here

We are calling on the Legislature to ensure that the best interests of all the province’s residents are considered. The debate is poised to address whether the benefits of relocating the High Court justify the significant economic and social costs that Makhanda and its residents may face.

The DA will continue to fight for the people of the Eastern Cape, and will stand up for the people of Makhanda, to ensure that the decision made is in the best interest of all Eastern Cape residents and that we safeguard employment and economic stability in our province.