The construction of the new facility has created jobs and long-lasting skills for locals.
Noma Meslane went from being a housewife and volunteer HIV/AIDS counsellor to educating construction workers about workplace safety when she started working on the site of the new Booysens Magistrate’s Court.
Meslane is just one local woman who has benefitted from the construction of the court located south of Johannesburg.
The project is being implemented by the Independent Development Trust (IDT) on behalf of the Department of Justice and Constitution Development at a cost of over R240-million as part of a contract awarded to the IDT to plan, design and construct new courts around South Africa.
The IDT has contributed to the creation of at least 1 665 job opportunities during the project.
When construction on the site began in June 2016, the IDT and the community around the construction site, had reached an agreement that 50 percent of the labour employed would be local.
Candidates without the necessary skills were trained and received certificates that would help them find suitable jobs in future.
Meslane who is 43, is one such candidate, She lives in the nearby suburb of Linmeyer, with her husband and three children. She had previously worked as a volunteer HIV/AIDS counsellor, and received her certificate in HIV counselling at a local clinic.
This experience has held her in good stead as a safety representative on site, where she was trained to identify hazards, extinguish fires and administer first aid.
“I carry out induction before anyone goes on site. It is my job to ensure that people are aware of the hazards they will come across on a construction site and prepare them so they do not get injured,” she said.
Meslane received a Safety Representative Certificate after the training, which she said would help her find employment on other construction sites once work on the court complete.
The Booysens Magistrate’s Court is almost complete and comprises ten courtrooms, a civil court; two family courts and one child, domestic violence; and Peace Order Court. There are also administration offices, 15 magistrates’ offices, and holding cells with provision for juvenile and adult male and female cells respectively.