The South African minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has announced an amendment to current lockdown regulations which will allow children to be moved between co-parents. The amendment, part of a number of adjustments made by members of the National Command Council, was announced at a virtual media briefing earlier today, April 16. 

“The parent or caregiver transporting the child concerned must have in his or her possession, the court order or the parental responsibilities and rights agreement or parenting plan or at least a birth certificate that connects the parent to the child,” says Dlamini-Zuma.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown will be extended until the end of April. Dlamini-Zuma says that the amendments are to bring the regulations in line with the extension. 

Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, also speaking at the briefing, says that her department had received complaints from many parents who had been separated from their children as a result of the lockdown. 

Zulu says that the uncertainty of when schools will reopen had led to many parents continuing the education programme at home which prompted the need to allow for the movement of children. 

“Parents were stressed that they were unable to help their children with their education. We have quite a huge number of children that need to move. We took into consideration about parents being very stressed about the fact that they are unable to assist their children,” she says.

Zulu says the departments of police and justice will work with her department to ensure that the process of moving children is smooth and pleaded with parents to respect the lockdown regulations when moving their kids. 

“If children have to move, it should be from point A to point B. [Parents] should not be stopping to visit other people, so that they don’t make life difficult for the police who have to enforce the law in the process of movement,” she added. -Health-e News