The Burning Rent Question
April 14, 2020

New regulations around the movement of children between the homes of separated or divorced parents

Ms Lindiwe Zulu, MP, the Minister of Social Development, announced amendments to direction to contain the spread of COVID -19 in exercising the care and contact by persons who are co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights, or a caregiver during the lockdown period. The amendments were made in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act 2002 (Act No 57 of 2002) published in Government Gazette No. 43107.

Here are the highlights of the amendments and how it relates to the movement of children between parents who are co-holders of parental responsibilities to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the lockdown period:

  1. 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-
  2. (aa) a court order; or
  3. (bb) 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.
  4. The parent or caregiver transporting the child concerned must have in his or her possession, the court order or the agreement referred to in sub-items (aa) and (bb), respectively, or a certified copy thereof.
  5. A Social Worker’s report is deemed to be sufficient for the admission of service users in treatment centres and Halfway Houses during the lockdown period.

These amendments, however, leaves parents who have not yet agreed to a formal parenting plan, alternatively registered the parenting plan with the family advocate prior to the implementation of the lockdown-period to remain in a prejudiced position.

If you have any major concerns about the wellbeing of your children in the current circumstances that requires urgent attention, do not hesitate to contact George de Beer for the necessary legal advice.

George De Beer: or call 083 450 4514

Rika Odendal:

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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Andy Alexander

  • LLB at the University of the Western Cape – 2020
  • Commenced Articles of Clerkship in June 2021


Andy holds an LLB from the University of the Western Cape. He is currently completing his articles of clerkship at BDP Attorneys under John Smit and Rosshin Rossouw.

Gaenor Michel

  • BA (language and culture) – Stellenbosch University – 2013;
  • BA Hons (philosophy) (cum laude) – Stellenbosch University – 2014;
  • LLB – Stellenbosch University – 2017;
  • MA (philosophy) (cum laude) Stellenbosch University – 2020;
  • Commenced articles of clerkship – November 2020.

Gaenor holds a BA, a BA Hons (cum laude), an LLB and an MA (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch. Her MA thesis focussed on wrongful life delictual actions and the ethical desirability thereof. She is currently completing her articles of clerkship at BDP Attorneys under Christo Potgieter and John Smit. Gaenor is also a registered PhD student at Stellenbosch University, working towards a PhD in the field of Bioethics.