High Courts of South Africa
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
The High Courts are superior courts of law in South Africa. The courts were created in 1997 on the adoption of the Constitution of South Africa, and inherited the jurisdiction of the provincial and local divisions of the former Supreme Court of South Africa. High Courts have general jurisdiction over defined geographical areas in which they are situated, and the decisions of the High Courts are binding on magistrates' courts within their areas of jurisdiction. The High Courts have jurisdiction over all matters in their geographical area, but they usually only hear civil matters involving more than 100,000 rand, and serious criminal cases. They also hear any appeals or reviews from lower courts (magistrates’ courts) which fall in their geographical jurisdiction. The High Courts usually hear any matter involving a person’s status (for example, adoption, insolvency).
Important officers in a High Court 
Each High Court is headed by a Judge President. The registrar keeps all the official court documents. The family advocate must be consulted on all matters involving children, as the High Court is the "upper guardian" of all children in South Africa. The Master of the High Court keeps all the records relating to people’s estates (deceased or insolvent). The Sheriff delivers certain documents to the parties in a civil case, and also attaches property when a warrant is issued. The Director of Public Prosecutions, who used to be called the Attorney-General, is responsible for criminal prosecutions by the state. The State Attorney is the lawyer who represents the state in civil actions (where the state is suing or being sued).
|Eastern Cape High Court, Bhisho||Bhisho||Former Ciskei||Ciskei Division or Supreme Court of Ciskei|
|Eastern Cape High Court, Grahamstown||Grahamstown||Eastern Cape except for the former Ciskei and Transkei||Eastern Cape Provincial Division|
|Eastern Cape High Court, Mthatha||Mthatha||Former Transkei||Transkei Division or Supreme Court of Transkei|
|Eastern Cape High Court, Port Elizabeth||Port Elizabeth||City of Port Elizabeth and surrounding districts||South Eastern Cape Local Division|
|Free State High Court, Bloemfontein||Bloemfontein||Free State||Orange Free State Provincial Division|
|KwaZulu-Natal High Court, Durban||Durban||Coastal districts of KwaZulu-Natal||Durban & Coast Local Division|
|KwaZulu-Natal High Court, Pietermaritzburg||Pietermaritzburg||KwaZulu-Natal||Natal Provincial Division|
|Limpopo High Court, Thohoyandou||Thohoyandou||Former Venda||Venda Division or Supreme Court of Venda|
|North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria||Pretoria||Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo except for the former Venda, part of North West||Transvaal Provincial Division|
|North West High Court, Mafikeng||Mafikeng||Part of North West||Bophuthatswana Division or Supreme Court of Bophuthatswana|
|Northern Cape High Court, Kimberley||Kimberley||Northern Cape||Northern Cape Provincial Division|
|South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg||Johannesburg||Southern part of Gauteng (Greater Johannesburg)||Witwatersrand Local Division|
|Western Cape High Court, Cape Town||Cape Town||Western Cape||Cape of Good Hope Provincial Division|
The "Superior Courts Bill" was reintroduced to Parliament in June 2011. The bill will restructure the High Courts into a single High Court of South Africa divided into nine divisions, one for each province. In provinces which currently have multiple high courts, one will become the main seat of the division with jurisdiction over the whole province, and the others will become local seats with concurrent jurisdiction over some part of the province. The divisions and seats to be established under the bill are as follows:
|Division||Main seat||Local seats|
|Eastern Cape Division||Grahamstown||Bhisho, Mthatha, Port Elizabeth|
|Free State Division||Bloemfontein|
|Northern Cape Division||Kimberley|
|North West Division||Mafikeng|
|Western Cape Division||Cape Town|
Until the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Divisions are established, the Gauteng Division will act in their place, with circuit courts being held at Polokwane and Nelspruit.
Circuit Court 
Circuit Courts are also part of the High Court. They sit at least twice a year, moving around to serve more rural areas.
- "Renaming of High Courts Act 30 of 2008". Juta and Company. 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2013.