11 years of free legal services in the ’Plain

Wendy Diener,pro bono assistant at ENSafrica law firm, speaks about the pro bono services.

ENSafrica, which has been offering free legal services to the residents of Mitchell’s Plain for 11 years, is running a competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The competition gives those with a bright business idea the opportunity to submit their business plan and stand the chance of winning cash prizes.

The law firm, situated in Eastridge, opposite the Town Centre, has been offering free legal aid since May 2005. This year’s business competition is for residents of Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha.

Wendy Diener, pro bono assistant, said they have been working with various cases over the past few years, such as wills, property disputes, labour matters and maintenance.

The services are available to those with a maximum income of R5 500 a month for an individual and R6 000 for a household.

Owners of properties valued up to R300 000 or pensioners whose homes are valued up to R500 000 qualify for legal aid.

This means that if a person, other than a pensioner owns a property valued above R300 000 or a pensioner owns a property above R500 000 they will not qualify as a pro bono client.

The clients have to live in Mitchell’s Plain or Khayelitsha.

“We have young people and seniors who are in dire need of legal services,” said Ms Diener. “Some younger people usually come in for maintenance matters and others for child law assistance. We also have clients who come in for general labour matters and seniors for wills and disputes with their own children regarding their property.

“There are many people who cannot afford legal fees so as a firm we try our best to assist those who do not have the means for the paid private services,” she said.

Ms Diener said ENSafrica has legal enterprise development sessions twice a week in Mitchell’s Plain. The sessions are free and focus on various matters relating to the law.

The closing date for the business plan competition is Tuesday November 1.

For more information, send an email to info@ensafrica.com