The Children’s Amendment Bill (2018) has been gazetted for public comment. The Bill introduces numerous changes to the Children’s Act, including changes to provisions on discipline, guardianship, unmarried fathers, kinship care, adoption, alternative care, ECD, and surrogate motherhood.
The version of the Bill that has been published in the Government Gazette includes revisions that were made after the provincial hearings on the Bill which took place in August and September 2018.
Comments on the revised Bill are due on 29 November 2018 and can be submitted electronically to: LuyandaMt@socdev.gov.za or MatlhogonoloS@dsd.gov.za
The Department of Social Development requests that submissions be made using the following framework for inputs.
Download South Africa's Child Care and Protection Policy.
Download short position papers on the following topics to inform your submissions:
> Foreign children – s8(4)
The bill proposes to exclude certain foreign children from the protective ambit of the bill, for example, permanent residents and refugees.
> Corporal punishment – s12A
The bill does not expressly prohibit corporal punishment or repeal the common law defence of reasonable chastisement
> Kinship care – s32(5) and s 150(1) (a)
The bill proposes an administrative process to assess and issue recognition notices to family members caring for children which could become a barrier to accessing grants, education and health care services for 3.8 million children.
> Guardianship applications & protecting children’s privacy in court – s 6A, s24, 45 & 74
The bill restricts the Children’s Court jurisdiction to hear guardianship applications to family members caring for orphaned or abandoned children. This will be a barrier for unmarried fathers and for family members caring for single orphans.
The bill proposes to delete s74 which protects children’s privacy in court proceedings and replace it with s6A. However, s6A does not provide adequate protection.