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Access to and services by Master’s Offices

The Acting Chief Master, Mrs Tessie Bezuidenhout, issued new service protocols over the weekend and supplied stakeholders with the document on 4 May, to take effect from 6 May.

Click here for the protocols.

If you identify shortcomings in the protocols, specifically where the measures may be impractical, please submit a proposal to improve the processes by email to Aaron Roup on [email protected] or to the FISA vice-chairperson, Angelique Visser, on [email protected]

Mrs Bezuidenhout appealed to all practitioners and members of the public to adhere to regulations and requirements to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  She wrote:

“I wish to point out the following:
–           Stakeholders must only use mails as provided on our website. The reason for this is that not all officials are on duty. Your matters and queries will then be sent to relevant officials to deal with, with whom you can then further correspond.
–           We wish to curb the number of people coming into the office for the safety of our officials and of your own  employees.
–           As we will not be fully staffed we request your patience to allow us to deal with new matters as well as old backlog matters. For this reason we will not be able to deal with matters as per our normal turnaround times.
–           Please if you do come to the offices, adhere to the protocols as well as all measure put in place to safeguard all. For this reason no person will be allowed on the floors and only urgent matters will be discussed in person and by way of an appointment. We are all in stormy waters and uncertain times and we now need to work together for the advantage of all South Africans especially those who are vulnerable .As time goes on we will adapt and change our protocols as needed.

The Minister of Labour over the weekend issued further regulations regarding the safe return of officials to the workplace. For this reason the Masters will offer their extended service hopefully by the latest Wednesday. It is imperative for us to ensure that all offices comply and all measures are in place for everyone’s well-being.

The Masters have amended our protocols as attached hereto. However I must haste to point out that although we are ready to go,  we need to wait until such time a circular is issued by the Department . We as leadership have been working endlessly to finalize this  and therefore in the best interest of all we will , as stated above continue with our extended services by Wednesday. I will however keep you advised. To enable all stakeholders to conform to our protocols I,  as stated will attached but it will only be applicable once we get the go ahead and the Departmental circular issued.  We have tried or best to be as practically as possible. If you foresee or encounter any issue, please do not hesitate to address with me.

We are very weary of fraudulent matters which may be lodged therefor we urge all to adhere to our attached affidavits as well. We are still  linked with DHA and any document which does not conform with the documents held by DHA will not be processed.

I need to however point out that although our services under level 4 are limited, it is within the discretion of any Head of Office, to address any urgent matter, falling outside the services rendered now.

I wish to thank all stakeholders for their invaluable inputs regarding our protocols.   We play a vital roll in the economy of South Africa and I urge all,  let us  work together to make the lives of less fortunate citizens more bearable,  where in our hands,  in this difficult time.”


7 thoughts on “Access to and services by Master’s Offices

  1. Will the Estate department be open to emails? Can we correspond to the relevant person by email?
    The work is getting behind.

  2. How will we know which official a matter has been handed to if we e-mail a query to an e-mail address reflected on the website? I suggest that we should be advised of the name, e-mail address and contact number of the official to which a matter has been handed. If we are not provided with this information we will have no one to follow up with nor will we know if the matter has been handed to anyone.

    I have a matter that was forwarded to an e-mail address on the website on 15 April 2020 and do not know who the matter was referred to and so cannot follow up on the matter.

  3. Do you know which email address to use for the Master, as nothing is appearing yet on the website…. or is it too soon?

  4. Can FISA provide clarity to members whether our fidusiary services qualify under Level 4? If so, do we need a permit or cerificate, and from whom?

  5. Dear Anesca and Paula

    I will e-mail the updated contact list for level 4 to you and arrange for same to be uploaded on the website.

    Fiduciary regards,

  6. When delivering documents to the Master’s office – i use the Durban Master’s office – will it still be possible to have a duplicate copy of the covering letter ‘date stamped’ as evidence of receipt by the Master’s office? In particular, I refer to the reporting of a new estate, the submission of the First and Final Liquidation Account and the delivery of other documents in response to queries from the Master’s office

  7. Dear Fisa team, regarding Magistrates Certificates in particular; a colleague had an instance where the local Magistrate does not want to issue the certificate of an account that has lain open for inspection 21 days with the dates starting on 13 March 2020 even though the advertisements was placed and the account at the Magistrates office in time. Lockdown level 5 started afterwards; it could not have been foreseen when the advertisement was placed. Magistrates reasoning is the public could not view the account and therefore they will not issue a certificate. Where does this place future advertisements and further administration of such an estate? Should one re-advertise and when would it be feasible not to encounter this problem forward? or could the Magistrate render a certificate stating the Lockdown level at time of inspection?

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