Maintenance defaulters 'named and shamed'
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THE DA wants maintenance defaulters blacklisted.
Some of the party’s leaders and supporters demonstrated outside Parliament yesterday at the launch of a national petition for maintenance defaulters to be blacklisted.
DA members walked through the CBD, where they collected signatures for the petition, while outgoing party leader Helen Zille called for defaulters to be named and shamed.
Zille said 48 percent of children in South Africa had a living parent absent from their lives. “It is far too much to have 48 percent of children in South Africa with a living parent who is not taking responsibility. This campaign is saying, don’t make a baby if you can’t be a good parent.”
Zille said the petition will be taken to the streets, to maintenance courts and to communities across South Africa in the coming weeks.
“Our DA Women’s Network (Dawn) activists will be on the ground speaking to South Africans about the importance of supporting our children,” she said. Mayor Patricia de Lille called on the women owed maintenance for their children to stand together and demand payment. It is our duty to send a clear message to fathers that we will come after you. The least any father can do is pay maintenance. We as the DA are going to help expose people not paying their papgeld(child maintenance).” She said the party would go to court to get the names of defaulters.
Social Development MEC Albert Fritz assured his department would support the campaign.
“I will take every single man to sign our petition. We want them to take responsibility. Stop making children and not taking responsibility.”
Dawn interim leader Denise Robinson said that in thousands of cases, absent parents were not held accountable for honouring their financial obligation.
“There can be no ‘opt out’ clause once a child is born. Children who grow up in singe-parent households are more likely to be born into poverty, especially if the mother is still a teenager. These children are more vulnerable to substance abuse,” Robinson said.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
is relooking certain aspects of a bill dealing with child maintenance.
Among issues under consideration is an R80 fee which the maintenance applicant must pay, and whether a defaulter should be blacklisted. The department is expected to report to Parliament on May 5