General: Master’s Offices making headway on backlogs – department

The government has claimed that backlogs at the country’s 15 Master’s Offices have been ‘reduced significantly’, with progress having been made in stabilizing the IT systems to deal with the caseload, which increased dramatically during the various stages of lockdown last year. The Department of Justice & Constitutional Development admitted to Business Day that the backlog had affected its ability to deliver services. It said these had ‘impacted negatively on the image of the Master’s Office’. However, department spokesperson Steve Mahlangu said the Master’s Office branch in the department had been focused on ‘attending to the backlog in all the 15 offices. ‘The report from most of those offices is that a substantial number of matters have been attended to. Backlogs have been reduced significantly and all staff are continuously working hard towards returning to normal caseloads,’ said Mahlangu. ‘Significant progress has been achieved despite the challenges of load-shedding affecting offices that were doing overtime work, which made it difficult to manage the situation. Currently, our IT system has not fully stabilized, but there is progress being made.’

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