||For the purposes of this Act, but subject to section 31—
||every High Court is an equality court for the area of its jurisdiction;
||any judge may be designated in writing by the Judge President as a presiding officer of the equality court of the area in respect of which he or she is a judge;
[Section 16(1)(b) substituted by section 31(a) of Act No. 8 of 2017]
||the Minister must, after consultation with the head of an administrative region defined in section 1 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944 (Act No. 32 of 1944), by notice in the Gazette –
||designate one or more magistrate’s courts as equality courts for the administrative region concerned;
||define the area of jurisdiction of each equality court, which may consist of any number of districts, sub-districts or other areas of jurisdiction created in terms of section 2 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944;
||increase or reduce the area of jurisdiction of each equality court;
||appoint one or more places within the area of jurisdiction of each equality court for the holding of equality court sittings;
||withdraw or vary any notice under this paragraph and;
Provided that any proceedings pending before an equality court which are not finalized at the time of the publication of a notice in the Gazette as contemplated in this paragraph, must be finalized by that Court, as if such notice had not been published; and
||the head of an administrative region contemplated in paragraph (c) must designate in writing any magistrate or additional magistrate as a presiding officer of the equality court.
[Section 16(1)(d) substituted by section 31(b) of Act No. 8 of 2017]
||[Section 16(2) deleted by section 31(c) of Act No. 8 of 2017]
||The Judges President and the heads of administrative regions must take all reasonable steps within available resources to designate at least one presiding officer for each equality court within his or her area of jurisdiction.
[Section 16(3) substituted by section 31(d) of Act No. 8 of 2017]
||[Section 16(4) substituted by section 31(e) of Act No. 8 of 2017]
||A presiding officer must perform the functions and duties and exercise the powers assigned to or conferred on him or her under this Act or any other law.
||The provisions of section 12(6) and (8) of the Magistrates' Courts Act, 1944 (Act No. 32 of 1944), are applicable with the necessary changes required by the context.
[Section 16(6) substituted by section 31(f) of Act No. 8 of 2017]