As the country is in national lockdown, parents who have been declared co-guardians and co-holders of parental rights and responsibilities have been left to wonder how they can exercise their care and contact rights.
Initially when the lockdown started, on Thursday 26 March 2020 at 23h59, the indication from government was that children are to remain with the parent where they resided when the lockdown commenced.
Disaster regulations have been amended twice
On 7 April 2020 the position changed when the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, amended the Regulations issued in terms of s27(2) of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002.
The effect of the amendment was that parents, who are in possession of a court order regulating care and contact, or alternatively who are in possession of a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan which is registered with the family advocate, could now move their children from the one parent’s house to the other’s in accordance with the aforesaid order or agreement.
Original or certified birth certificates will now suffice
As of 16th of April, the lockdown conditions pertaining to a parent’s right to care for their child were relaxed further. Parents may now move their child between homes on condition that they have a certified or original birth certificate on them to prove a legitimate relationship between them and their child. The birth certificate does not need to be unabridged.
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