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Updated Parents' Rights

  • South Africa
  • Litigation and dispute management


On 9 April 2020, the President extended the lockdown period until 30 April 2020. On 16 April 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs published and issued new Regulations in Government Gazette 43232, Government Notice No. R.465 of 16 April 2020, which Regulations affect parents’ rights to care and contact during lockdown.

Under the previous Directions co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or caregivers were required to have in their possession either a (i) divorce court order; or (ii) Parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, which is registered with the family advocate to when moving children between households.

In terms of the new Regulations, and as an alternative to the above two documents, the co-holder of parental responsibilities and rights or caregivers may now carry the birth certificate or certified copy of the birth certificate of the children when moving the children between households. The relevance of the birth certificate is that it will prove a legitimate relationship between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights and the children.

In addition to the above, the Regulations provide that, “All forms must be completed in full, including full names, identification or passport numbers and full contact details as required in the form and failure to do so will result in the form being rejected as invalid.”

No template for such a form has been provided, and in the circumstances, we suggest that the names, identification or passport numbers and contact details (including telephone numbers and email addresses) of each parent, each child and if applicable, the caregiver, be set out in a document. Should a template form be provided we will send out a further update. In the meantime, if you require assistance in preparing such a form, we will gladly assist you.