Delays at the country's 15 Master's Offices are not only preventing beneficiaries of deceased estates from getting their dues, but recipients of court imposed maintenance payments have had to resort to picketing to get their voices heard.

A Fin24 report notes that in October the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa issued a statement to say the public should be aware that there is an unprecedented backlog at the Master's Offices countrywide due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns and a major cyber attack in September.

Steve Mahlangu, of the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development, said: ‘The IT specialists are working tirelessly to sort out all the issues. Furthermore, a huge backlog was already created due to previous adherence to the Covid-19 regulations and the consequent rotation of staff’.

‘It should, however, also be noted that the Master can only issue an appointment once all relevant documents have been lodged in order by the applicants.’

Full Fin24 report