Free online Acts and Regulations from the Law Library of the University of Pretoria

December 1st, 2017

By Shirley Gilmore

All legal practitioners, and indeed, all South Africans should have free access to updated legislation, and it is for this reason that the Oliver R Tambo Law Library of the University of Pretoria (UP) provides this service, which makes Acts and regulations free to all.

Laws of South Africa is a work in progress, the database already provides access to over 300 Acts and all their regulations. The Acts and regulations are fully consolidated with amendments and new material is updated weekly on receipt of the Government Gazette.

Access to this database is free and the documents in the database may be used and shared, for example, in legal documents, training material or correspondence.

Besides the currently enforced Acts, users also have access to historical (also called ‘point-in-time’) versions of Acts and regulations, which have been clearly marked to show what time period they cover, for example, the current National Credit Act 34 of 2005, as well as the last version before the latest or current one are shown.

Initially the service was launched with seed funding from UP and was able to continue with funds from the Constitutional Court Trust. For the past three years all the funding has been donated by private law firms and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

South Africans are fortunate to have Southern African Legal Information Institute ( providing free case law and links to open access South African journals.  This, combined with the Laws of South Africa website, provides a substantial body of free online legal sources.

Shirley Gilmore, head of the Oliver R Tambo Law Library at the University of Pretoria.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (Dec) DR 17.