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Update (3): Parents' Righs to Care and Contact their Children during Lockdown Level 4

  • South Africa
  • Litigation and dispute management

07-05-2020

On 23 April 2020, the President announced that from 1 May 2020, lockdown would be extended at level 4 – which provides for reduced restrictions. On 29 April 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, published and issued new Regulations in Government Gazette 43258, Government Notice No. R.480 of 29 April 2020, which Regulations affect parents’ rights to care and contact during lockdown.

The new Regulation sets out the documents required for the movement of children in the same metropolitan area or district municipality, as well as for the movement of children between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces.

Movement in same metropolitan area or district municipality

Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver, in the same metropolitan area or district municipality is allowed. When moving children in these circumstances, the parent or caregiver must be in possession of a:

1. divorce court order;

2. parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate; or

3. permit issued by a magistrate if the above documentation is not available.

In order to obtain the permit, the magistrate will need to be provided with the children’s’ birth certificate or certified copy thereof, together with written reasons as to why the movement of the children is necessary.

Movement between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces

Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver is allowed between different metropolitan areas, district municipalities or provinces. The parent or caregiver must be in possession of a permit issued by a magistrate.

The Regulations further provide that any children who were not at the residence of the primary caregiver before the lockdown period began, will be allowed on a once-off basis to return to the residence of the primary caregiver, if the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or the caregiver is in possession of a permit issued by a magistrate

In order to obtain the permit, the magistrate must be provided with the following documents:

1. divorce court order;

2. parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate; or

3. birth certificate or certified copy thereof; and

4. written reasons as to why the movement of the children is necessary.

The permit template, which will be issued by the magistrate is provided in Annexure A, Form 3 of the new Regulations. Should you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information contact

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