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Parliament, Cape Town - The justice department has been faulted by the auditor general for missing more than half its targets for the past financial year.
“Of the total number of 55 targets planned for the year, 31 targets were not achieved. This represents 56 percent of total planned targets,” the auditor general noted in the department's 2012/13 annual report tabled in Parliament this week.
The figure mirrors the National Prosecuting Authority's score of missing 55 percent of its annual targets.
The auditor general said the department had failed to monitor its performance properly and to take timely corrective steps where it was falling short.
Among the missed targets listed in the report are completing new court buildings, establishing new small claims courts in magisterial districts, and filling posts in the chief justice's office.
The department - which is under pressure to establish new high courts in Mpumalanga and Limpopo - noted that the building of new courts “remains a major challenge due to the risks associated with civil works”.
It said it could not achieve targets due to delays in construction and the delays in turn carried the risk of escalating costs.
The department also missed its targets on implementing the maintenance turnaround project and establishing two more one-stop child justice centres.
And it was 41 percent off the mark on paying reparations to victims identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The department's successes include exceeding its target for reducing case backlogs.
Between November 2006 and the end of March this year, 82 271 cases had been removed from the court rolls. Of these 57 668 were finalised, 21 931 withdrawn, and 2 671 referred to higher courts.
It said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had taken an active role in enhancing case flow management and monthly meetings were now held to address stumbling blocks to finalising cases.