Justice Department follows the DA's lead on maintenance defaulters
19 November 2014
The DA welcomes the adoption by the Department of Justice of the DA's strategy to find and arrest maintenance defaulters.
When the DA came into office in the Western Cape in 2009, we prioritised the significant problem of men and women who do not pay their child maintenance.
A campaign was launched with the police and the Department of Justice to track down defaulters. This project enjoyed much success. In the first week of the campaign in the Western Cape in 2010:
Over 150 maintenance defaulters handed themselves over before they could be caught
A further 120 were arrested at designated road-blocks
A total of 343 beneficiaries were traced in the Western Cape
Over R300,000 collected for single mothers
The project was such a success that the department decided to implement it at national level, and we welcome it now finally becoming national policy.
In South Africa, an estimated 9 million children are growing up in single parent households, the vast majority of those households headed by mothers. Almost half the children in South Africa (43%) are raised with only one parent.
The DA has fought long and hard for harsher punishment of maintenance defaulters by working closely with government agencies, departments and the credit bureaus to initiate ways to increase the pressure on parents to fulfill their financial responsibilities to their children.
Child maintenance is a legally binding agreement to be paid regularly and on time. Failure to do so should carry real consequences.
Millions of single parents face the daily struggle to provide for their children and give them opportunities that every child deserves. By ensuring maintenance orders are honoured, the plight of these single-parent households can be eased.
The DA will continue to work to ensure the protection of South Africa's children.
Statement issued by Denise Robinson MP, DA Shadow Minister of Women in the Presidency, November 20 2014
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