ANC protecting maintenance defaulters - Denise Robinson

DAWN leader condemns about-turn by committee on the black-listing of such individuals

ANC is protecting maintenance defaulters, rather than protecting children

01 April 2015

I am deeply shocked by the decision of the ANC members of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services to oppose the black-listing of maintenance defaulters.

This about-turn by the ANC last week, led to the Chairperson of the Committee giving instruction that the Maintenance Amendment Bill be redrafted and that Clause 11, which deals with black-listing, be deleted.

This is an outrageous decision in a country where almost half of children are growing up in single-parent households. These children are left vulnerable and are more likely to grow up without opportunity and employment.

The DA Women's Network believes that parents who do not meet their financial obligations to their children should be penalized. Today, in our country, parents who don't pay child maintenance do not face the full might of the law. People who do not pay their bills have their credit record affected, but child maintenance defaulters currently do not. 

That is why last year, DAWN announced our support for new legislation and we called on Minister Rob Davies to introduce it. 

At the time the ANC also supported provisions to blacklist and limit the credit-worthiness of maintenance defaulters. It is clear, however, that the ANC members of the Portfolio Committee bowed to Cosatu's opposition to Clause 11 and that they are prepared, for the sake of politics, to protect maintenance defaulters from becoming blacklisted.

By backtracking on the most effective means of ensuring that people who do not pay maintenance, cannot get credit, the ANC is in fact supporting non-payment.

DAWN will not stand for this. We call on all parties who share our concern for the rights of South Africa's children to support the inclusion of Clause 11 in the final version of the Maintenance Bill. The time to crack down on maintenance defaulters is now. We owe it to our children.

Statement issued by Denise Robinson, Interim Federal Leader of DAWN April 1 2015

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