Maintenance Act, 1998 (Act No. 99 of 1998)
Notice No. 1534
27 November 1998
(English text signed by the President.)
(Assented to 19 November 1998.)
It is hereby notified that the President has assented to the following Act, which is hereby published for general information:-
To restate and amend certain laws relating to maintenance.
WHEREAS the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, as the supreme law of the Republic, was adopted so as to establish a society based on democratic values, social and economic justice, equality and fundamental human rights and to improve the quality of life of all citizens and to free the potential of all persons by every means possible, including, amongst others, by the establishment of a fair and equitable maintenance system;
AND WHEREAS the Republic of South Africa is committed to give high priority to the rights of children, to their survival and to their protection and development as evidenced by its signing of the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, agreed to at New York on 30 September 1990, and its accession on 16 June 1995 to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed at New York on 20 November 1989;
AND WHEREAS Article 27 of the said Convention specifically requires States Parties to recognise the right of every child to a standard of living which is adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development and to take all appropriate measures in order to secure the recovery of maintenance for the child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child;
AND WHEREAS the recovery of maintenance in South Africa possibly falls short of the Republics international obligations in terms of the said Convention;
AND WHEREAS the South African Law Commission is investigating, in addition to the recovery of maintenance for children, the reform of the entire South African maintenance system;
AND WHEREAS it is considered necessary that, pending the implementation of the said Law Commissions recommendations, certain amendments be effected in the interim to the existing laws relating to maintenance and that, as a first step in the reform of the entire South African maintenance system, certain of those laws be restated with a view to emphasising the importance of a sensitive and fair approach to the determination and recovery of maintenance.
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:-