State windfall for black law firms
GOVERNMENT wants black lawyers to get a bigger slice of the state's multi-billion rand legal bill.
Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe will this year introduce a policy to force government departments and state-owned enterprises to ensure that black-owned legal firms benefit from the state's legal bill.
Tabling his departmental budget of R15,4-billion in the National Assembly, Radebe said that his department will on Monday release a policy framework on the "transformation of the state legal services".
Radebe is also set for a showdown with the legal profession after he said he would table the long-awaited Legal Practice Bill in Parliament, which is set to introduce wholesale changes into the governance of the profession. The envisaged reforms seek to strengthen capacity within the Office of the State Law Advisor, which has often been accused of giving poor legal advice to government department.
Although he could not indicate exactly how much the state was spending on procuring legal services, Radebe said the expenditure amounted to "billions of rands".
The ANCYL has long been lambasting government for giving business to predominantly white-owned legal firms at the disadvantage of black firms. Lobby groups like Black Lawyers Association have also criticised government for not empowering black attorneys.