File Image: Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha ( INLSA)

PARLIAMENT - Construction of the long awaited Mpumalanga High Court, now more than two years overdue, is 97% complete, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said on Wednesday.

Briefing journalists ahead of his budget vote in Parliament, Masutha explained the "unfortunate location" of the court had led to various problems including access to the building as the busy Samora Machel Drive passes "right in front of the gates of the court".

Masutha said the problems have now been dealt with.

He also announced upgrades to other courts.

"Plans are also underway to expand the Durban High Court at a cost of R728 million," the minister said.

"The department will also compete construction of magistrate's courts in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Booysens in Gauteng, and Dimbaza in the Eastern Cape."

Another 45 regional courts will be upraded. 

"The upgrades consist of a variety of court infrastructure, including security and information and communication technology," said Masutha.

"A new court recording technology which enables the easy retrieval and storage of court recordings has been rolled out to all courts across the country.

African News Agency/ANA