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International Maintenance

RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDERS refers to cases where one of the parties is residing in a proclaimed country or territory. (Download the PDF PDF booklet). This process involves the service of documents between countries through diplomatic channels.

South Africa have reciprocal enforcement agreements with the following countries:

  • Australia
    Capital Territory - New South Wales - Northern Territory - State of Queensland
    South Australia - Tasmania - State of Victoria - Western Australia
  • Botswana
  • Canada
    Alberta - British Columbia - Province of Manitoba - North West Territories - Province of Ontario
  • 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

The department has nominated a few countries whom we don’t have agreements with but, most are still pending from overseas to accept nomination with South Africa. In these cases the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1963 (Act 80 of 1963) is applicable.

The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1963 (Act 80 of 1963) makes provision for final and provisional orders.

Enquiry with a view to make a provisional order.

An enquiry in terms of section 8 of the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1963 (Act 80 of 1963) should be held under section 10 of the Maintenance Act, 1998 (Act 99 of 1998), in the absence of the person residing in a proclaimed country or territory who may be legally liable to maintain any person in the Republic. The evidence of all witnesses at the enquiry should be read over, adhered to and signed by them.


  • Some countries have special a arrangement with South Africa, so that maintenance orders granted in one country can be enforced
    in the order.
  • A country that belongs to this agreement is a proclaimed or designated country.
  • It takes approximately 12 months for an order to be registered in proclaimed countries.


The following documentation are required in respect of the proclaimed countries and territories:

a) Four certified copies of the provisional court order.
b) An affidavit by the complainant or an officer of the court as to the amount of arrears due under the order.
c) The deposition affidavit or evidence of the complainant.
d) Birth certificate (s) of the child or children.
e) The marriage certificate (if applicable).
f ) A photograph and description of the defendant.
g) The exhibits referred to in the complainants deposition, affidavit or evidence duly endorsed as prescribed above.
h) Three certified copies of the documents referred to in (b) and (c) above and in the event of the High Court, four copies as
well as an additional copy of the order of court are required.
i) Physical residential and or working address of the defendant in a proclaimed country.

Office of the DG
Chief Directorate: International Legal Relations
Mrs M Wilson, Senior Administration Officer
Tel: 012 315 1667
Fax: 086 682 6908
Email: MWilson@justice.gov.za