At last, many parents can finally rest assured as their calls for clarity on the legal position regarding their rights to care and contact of their children during the lockdown have been addressed.
Previously, parents were instructed not to transport their children between households during the lockdown period.
However, on the 7th April 2020, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, issued a directive confirming that children can now move between parents who are co-holders of parental rights and responsibilities during the nationwide lockdown provided they meet certain legal requirements.
The aforementioned directive allows co-parents or caregivers to move their children from one parent to another provided that they have a court order, existing parental agreement or a parenting plan registered with a family advocate which regulates their parental rights and responsibilities accordingly.
Apart from having the aforementioned agreements or court order in place, parents must also ensure that no person in the household has come into contact with a person who is known or suspected to be infected with the COVID-19 virus.
To avoid any conflict with the respective law enforcement authorities, the parent transporting their children must have these documents or a certified copy in their possession when commuting, failing which they may be faced with imprisonment or a fine for contravening the regulations gazetted.
Be safe and remember to keep an eye out for further updates in this regard.
Ayesha Sasman is an Associate at De Abreu & Cohen. Should you require any assistance in regard to your child care contracts contact her on ASasman@dacct.co.za.