Maintenance Amendment Act will improve maintenance system
10 September 2015
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 amendment of the Maintenance Act 1998 (Act No. 99 of 1998) has been a major priority of the Department, aimed at improving maintenance systems and ensuring that parents take responsibility for the upbringing of their children.
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.
The department is committed in ensuring that maintenance systems are effective and has made child maintenance its number one priority to ensure that children’s interests come first.
The new Act is part of a wider range of measures introduced by the Department to bring about real change in service delivery to maintenance beneficiaries and ensure access to justice for all, particularly children and women.
As a department, we pride ourselves on the interventions that we continue to initiate in order to improve maintenance systems and ensure that children are taken care of.
Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Enquiries: Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional services
083 641 8141