Frustration is growing amongst the legal fraternity as the Government Printing Works’ eGazette system enters its second month offline.
The Government Printing Works (GPW) announced on Friday it was rushing against time in efforts to fix the technical errors in its publishing system.
This spells trouble for lawyers, auctioneers, liquidators and business people who rely on the system.
This is because the gazettes make official any law or process which needs to be advertised in it to the public. This includes acts and regulations, liquor licence applications, company registrations and deregistrations and legal notices such as insolvencies, liquidation and deceased estate notices.
Legal expert Nthabiseng Dubazane said that this was a disruption for the legal fraternity and causing a huge backlog in cases.
“The backlog is not only caused in terms of the work that we are meant to be doing as attorneys, but also in the courts,” said Dubazane.
She said there was already a backlog in cases on the court rolls even before the Covid-19 pandemic and this would only get worse if the gazette system was not fixed soon.
She said while this was creating an inconvenience for the legal fraternity, their clients have been put in a position whereby they cannot finalise matters.
The system’s malfunction has resulted in a delay in the publishing of scheduled national and provincial gazettes.
“During this period, the department has only been able to publish national extraordinary gazettes relating to existing legislation and an invitation for comments on the Disaster Management Amendment Bill,” said Government Printing Works acting general manager Sihle Ngubane.
He said due to the volume, size and format of tender bulletins, legal gazettes and road carrier permits, the system continued to experience challenges in publishing.
Ngubane said that they were unable to estimate how long the problem may last.