The Master of the High Court in Cape Town communicated some interventions to address the backlogs in the estates and trust departments. Ms Agulhas writes:
“Ms Bunyonyo is temporarily placed at the Fast Track in the absence of Ms Adonis. Ms Bunyonyo is now linked to the system and will be able to do the approvals.
The factors (shortage of staff; office closures due to Covid cases; hacking of Departmental IT systems, etc.) which caused backlogs in the Masters Office impacted on all areas of our work. The Teams on the various floors are therefore also experiencing backlogs.
The backlog seems to be from October 2021, though it appears that there is a smaller amount of work outstanding since June 2021.
Interventions are as follows:
- Ms Bunyonyo is placed at the Ground Floor to attend to public and Fast Track matters.
- More staff were deployed to Deceased Estate and Trust Teams to fill the vacancies.
- Division of work in areas where there are vacancies.
- A self-service desk is set-up for stakeholders to capture their deceased estates as well as Trust registrations. The Deputy Masters will contact you shortly to discuss logistical arrangements to access this service.
- Overtime was requested.
- Request was made to provide Acting powers to some Estate Controllers.
We believe that these interventions will bear fruit, provided that stakeholders give us a period of 8 weeks to attend to the backlog.
We therefore request that e-mail and telephone enquiries as well as in person attendance should be reduced during this time.
We are mindful of the impact which the backlogs have on our stakeholders and clients and undertake to prioritise backlog work.
We are striving to serve better.”