MAINTENANCE AMENDMENT ACT WILL IMPROVE MAINTENANCE SYSTEM
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development welcomes the signing of the Maintenance Amendment Act (Act No.9 of 2015) into law by President Jacob Zuma yesterday.
The new legislation provides, amongst others, that parents who default on child maintenance will be blacklisted.
The Amendment Act states that:
- a beneficiary will be able to claim maintenance where they work and not only where they live, which is the current situation. This will make it easier for beneficiaries to go to the maintenance court during working hours.
- If the person from whom maintenance is sought cannot be traced, the court can grant an order directing electronic communication service providers to provide the court with contact information. This direction may only be used if the court is satisfied that all reasonable efforts to locate the person in question have failed.
- Maintenance courts must complete their enquiries as speedily as possible. The views of the person who is obliged to pay maintenance must be sought.
- If a person has defaulted on paying maintenance, their personal details will be submitted to all credit bureaus. This will prevent maintenance defaulters from continuing to receive credit while owing maintenance.
10 September 2015
Maintenance is the obligation to provide another person, for example a minor, with housing, food, clothing, education and medical care, or with the means that are necessary for providing the person with these essentials. This legal duty to maintain is called ‘the duty to maintain’ or ‘the duty to support'.
The duty to maintain is based on blood relationship, adoption, or the fact that the parties are married to each other.
A child must be supported or maintained by:
- his or her parents, whether married, living together, separated or divorced, including parents who have adopted the child; and/or
- his or her grandparents, whether or not the child's parents were married to each other. However, this varies from one case to another.
- The duty to support a family member is not limited to supporting a child. Any family member, irrespective of his or her age, can ask any family member to support or maintain him or her, provided that the following two conditions are met:
- The family member who claims support is unable to maintain himself or herself.
- The family member from whom maintenance is claimed is able to afford the maintenance that is claimed.
- The main requirement of the means test is that the person who is liable to pay maintenance must have MEANS and the maintenance claimed must be REASONABLE.
South Africa have reciprocal enforcement agreements with the following countries: Australia*, Botswana, Canada*, Cocoa (Keeling) Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, Germany, Guernsey (Bailiwick of), Hong Kong, Isle of Jersey, Isle of Man, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Sarawak, Singapore, St Helena, Swaziland, United Kingdom, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, United States of America (California - Florida), Zambia, Zimbabwe
Follow this link for information on international maintenance.
- Apply for a Maintenance Order
- Changing (increase or decrease) the amount of maintenance (Variation or Substitution)
- Social Development's National Directory on services for Victims of Crime and Violence that was approved in 2009 and distributed in 2010. [ 3.49mb]
Forms: Follow this link to view all the relevant maintenance forms
- Wallchart: Lodging a maintenance claim, Sep 2013
- SA law promotes foreign maintenance, Justice Today 2009, Vol 6
- Direct payment of maintenance monies, Feb 2015
The Department wants to ensure that people have easier and quicker access to their maintenance monies. We are therefore encouraging that maintenance payments be made DIRECTLY from the employer or the person paying maintenance to the bank account of the beneficiary.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do I claim Maintenance, What you need to know: Sepedi, Sesotho, Xitsonga, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa
- Pamphlet on Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1963 (Act 80 of 1963)
Chief Directorate: Promotion of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups
Name: Adv. Mulalo Netshisaulu
Tel No: 012 315 1512
Directorate: Gender Issues
Tel: 012 315 1670
Fax: 012 315 1960