Legal aid in Cape Town and the Western Cape region for those who cannot afford representation by a lawyer in cases where one is needed can be obtained by those who qualify. It is important to note that not everybody will qualify for assistance in this regard as the aid is only available to people on small salaries and classed in the lowest income groups. If you do qualify for assistance then you will be entitled to a lawyer to assist you in child maintenance cases, divorce, criminal charges, human rights issues and just about any area where an attorneys skills and knowledge of South African law are required.
Other ways to obtain legal aid in the Cape Town and Western Cape area is to approach a law clinic at one of the many universities found in the area. Stellenbosch, Rondebosch and Belville are just three of the suburbs and towns in which this kind of facility can be found and there are branches in several other areas. Also, for people who perhaps do not qualify for the aid due to their income being slightly higher than that which qualifies someone, there is what is called the Legal Aid Bureau which is a private organisation offering help on law issues of any kind and lawyers for those who do not have a lot of money to afford expensive attorneys.
It can also depend on your specific case and what personal requirements you need. In some cases a solution can be obtained by the means of a simple letter, a telephone conversation or one or two meetings with all parties involved. Most good lawyers will do their very best to keep a matter out of the South African courts which are far too busy already and help clients resolve issues through other means. If you are thinking of divorce, need some help on child custody issues, have some human rights issues or anything else pertaining to the law and cannot afford a good lawyer to represent or assist you then there is a possibility, if you are in the lower income bracket, that you may qualify for legal aid at one of the Cape Town branches or offices around the Western Cape.