As South Africa braces for the National Shutdown scheduled for Monday 20 March 2023, several High Courts across the country are making adjustments for proceedings scheduled for 20 March 2023.

The Deputy Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa in Johannesburg announced today that all court proceedings set down for 20 March 2023 will be conducted remotely and virtually. As such, there will generally be no open court hearings in the Johannesburg High Court on the day of the proposed National Shutdown.

Meanwhile, the Acting Judge President of the Western Cape High Court has postponed all criminal matters set down for 16 and 20 March 2023, until Wednesday 22 March 2023. These won't require the presence of the accused. Civil matters set down for 20 March 2023 may proceed virtually at the discretion of the presiding judge.

The Pietermaritzburg High Court is set to be closed on 20 March 2023 with all matters previously set down for 20 March 2023 being heard on 22 March 2023.

The urgent application by the United Democratic Movement, Action SA and various other parties against Eskom and other state respondents will be heard virtually on 20 March 2023, but the following two days of hearings will take place in open court on 22 and 23 March 2023.

It has also been reported that the Democratic Alliance's urgent application against the Economic Freedom Fighters in regard to the proposed shutdown on 20 March 2023 will be heard on Friday, 17 March 2023.

In view of the positions adopted by the Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg High Courts, it would not come as a surprise if the Judge Presidents or Deputy Judge Presidents of the other High Courts in South Africa issue similar directives tomorrow.

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