Legal Aid SA to reach more South Africans

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Legal Aid South Africa (Legal Aid SA) has revised its means test in order to cater to more South Africans who need legal assistance but cannot necessarily afford it.

“The Legal Aid South Africa Means Test, used to determine if applicants qualify for legal aid, has been revised upwards to cater for increases in the Consumer Price Index. This will enable access to legal services to a wider group of people.

“In criminal cases, children continue to automatically qualify for legal aid and do not have to take the Means Test. If it is a civil case, the family of the child will need to take and pass the Means Test,” a Legal Aid SA statement read.

The new thresholds have been implemented and are as follows:

  • Applications for legal aid in criminal or civil cases – applicants must earn less than R8 200 per month.
  • Applications for legal aid in civil cases where the applicant is a member of a household – applicants must earn less than R9 000 per month.
  • If an applicant owns movable assets, they must not be worth more than R151 700.
  • If an applicant owns immovable assets, they must not be worth more than R711 700.

“Legal Aid SA looks forward to championing the rights of even more persons to access justice through the provision of independent, accessible and quality legal aid services in criminal and civil legal matters, at no cost,” the statement read. –