White paper urges paternity leave for dads

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fatherhood sxc sxc.hu Men should be provided with 10 days' paternity leave, non-profit organisation Sonke Gender Justice (SGJ) said.

Cape Town - A White paper on families, put together by the Department of Social Development with input from Sonke Gender Justice last year, recommends that paternity leave should be added to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.


The rights group has expressed its support for Cape Town man Hendri Terblanche’s petition for the law to be changed to grant fathers 10 days’ paternity leave.

Wessel van den Berg, manager of the child rights and positive parenting portfolio at Sonke, said his department had been involved with the committee who drafted the white paper.


“Families are formed in much more diverse ways than just getting married, “ Van den Berg said.

“A lot of the work we have done with fathers has shown us how absent fathers are,” he said.

This could be blamed on lack of paternity leave.

“Men should be held accountable for the children they conceive and paternity leave is a wonderful opportunity to engage in care.”

Terblanche, under his Twitter handle @DadToBeAdvice, continues to gain support for his cause online and has been focusing attention on the white paper.

He was grateful that the department would “hopefully” start researching and considering “some number of days”, if not 10.

The final draft of the paper recommends “fathers’ involvement in their children’s upbringing”, and considering the “introduction of paternity leave”.

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