Article by Khanyi Moshia
As we approach the 13th day of the nationwide lockdown, a lot of co-parents felt their rights were violated by the government as they were not permitted to move their children from one parent to the next. Well, that’s about to change as an amendment signed by the Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu states that children may now be moved between parents during the lockdown.
This amendment comes with a price though, as it only applies to co-parents who already have an existing court order in place. The children who are moved between parents should not have been in contact with anyone who could be infected with the Coronavirus, or potentially infected.
The said amendment came into effect on Tuesday, the 7th of April 2020 when Minister Zulu signed and published a government gazette.
“Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver, as defined in section 1(1) of the Children’s Act,2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), during the lockdown period, is prohibited. Except where arrangements are in place for a child to move from one parent to another, in terms of-
(a) a court order;
(b) where a parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan, registered with the family advocate, is in existence, provided that, in the household to which the child is to move, there is no person who is known to have come into contact with, or is reasonably suspected to have come into contact with, a person known to have contracted, or reasonably suspected to have contracted, Covid-19”, the minister said.
The government urges people to comply with the lockdown regulations in a bid to contain the spread of the virus which has infected over 1 million people and claimed over 81 000 lives around the globe. South Africa currently sits at 1749 confirmed positive cases, and 13 deaths.