“We had system challenges, but we are up since Monday from 13:30,” Johannesburg Family Court manager Janine Arends said. The system was repaired just an hour after The Citizen visited the court on Monday.
Despite the newspaper having found frustrated mothers at the court’s cash hall on Monday who said they had been continuously told by court officials for three weeks that they could not be paid due to the technical glitch, Janine said there was a contingency plan in place during the system failure.
She further said all payments had been processed at the Johannesburg court during the “down time period”. “We are busy processing payments for November 15, 2013,” she said adding that the court did not have a backlog.
The visibly upset mothers, some with babies on their backs, told the newspaper that they had already fallen back on school fees and transport payments for their children. They added that as a result of the delayed payments by the court, some school transport drivers had already threatened not to pick up their children, which will see them miss important school examinations currently under way.
According to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s annual report dated 2012/13, about 90 343 maintenance orders had been granted across the country. This is out of the 334 218 enquiries recorded and about 174 875 new applications filed nationwide in the same year.
However, some of the mothers who were counted in the justice report figures were left stranded at the court in Johannesburg.
Mthunzi Mhaga apologised for the inconvenience caused by the payment delays.