Children's Amendment Bill [B19B-2006]: adoption

Social Development

22 October 2007
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 October 2007
CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT BILL: ADOPTION

Chairperson: Adv T Masutha (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Children’s Amendment Bill [B19B-2006]
Portfolio Committee Amendments to Children’s Amendment Bill [B19C-2006]
Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19D-2006] – as adopted by the Committee

Audio recording of meeting

SUMMARY
The principal State Law Adviser and the researcher from the South African Law Reform Commission, who were dealing with the drafting of the Children’s Amendment Bill, took the Committee through the final amendments made to the Children’s Amendment Bill. Many of them were technical only, but others dealt with insertion or deletion of phrases, changes to the heading of the new sections, changes to the references to other sections, and changes to the references to the Departments involved.

The new Section 139, dealing with corporal punishment of children, was omitted from the Bill, pending further discussion on the issue.

The Committee then went through the clauses. Clauses 1 to 13 were agreed to, as amended , as set out fully in this Minute, and the Bill was adopted by the Committee, subject to the adoption of the Committee’s report on the Bill on 24 October 2007.

MINUTES
Children’s Amendment Bill: clause by clause deliberations

The Chairperson proposed that the new Section 139, relating to Corporal Punishment of children, be omitted from the Bill. The Committee agreed

After consultation with the Supervisor of the Committee Section, he had proposed that the adoption of the Committee’s Report on the Bill be postponed to Wednesday, 24 October 2007. The Committee agreed.

The Chairperson read out the Motion of Desirability of the Bill.

Ms Suraya Williams, Principal State Law Advisor, Office of the State Law Adviser, explained that the version being used was the version B19C..

The Committee then went through the Bill again, clause by clause.

Clauses 1 and 2: Amendment of Long Title and Table of Contents
These clauses were adopted

Clause 3: Amendment of section 1 of Act 38 of 2005 (the principal Act)
Ms Ronel van Zyl, Researcher, South African Law Reform Commission, took the Committee through the definitions. The definition of “cluster foster care” was included. “Early intervention service” was amended to “early intervention programme”. The sequence of the different types of “municipality” was amended to read “...metropolitan, local or district municipality”. The definition of “secure care” was amended to include children in conflict with the law.

After the adoption of clause 13, Dr Maria Mabetoa, Chief Director: Children, Department of Social Development, proposed definitions for “assessment of child”, “assessment of problem” and “after care”. Members of the Committee agreed to the suggested text of the definitions.

Clause 3 was adopted, with amendments.

Clause 4: Insertion of chapters 5 and 6 in Act 38 of 2005
Chapter 5: Partial Care
Technical corrections to spelling, syntax, numbering or references to other sections were made to the new sections 76, 77, 84 and 87.

A new subsection (4) dealing with the kind of partial care facilities was inserted in section 78.

Provision for basic intervention was made in the new section 79.

The words “or organisation” was inserted after “person” in new sections 80 and 85.

The word “prescribed” was replaced by “prescribed by regulation” in the new sections 81, 82 and 83.

The word “conditional” was inserted before “registration” in the new section 83.

The words “or registration holder” was inserted after “applicant” in the new sections 86 and 88.

The words “within 90 days” were inserted in the new sections 86 and 88.

“Social worker” was replaced by “social services professional” in the new section 88.

The heading to the new section 89 was amended to read “Serious injury, abuse or death of a child in partial care facility”.

A new subsection (g), dealing with the event of a partial care facility closing down, was inserted in subsection 90.

Chapter 6: Early Childhood Development
Technical corrections were made to the new sections 95, 96, 99, 100, 102 and 103.

The words “sensory” and “communication” were inserted in the new sections 91, 94, and 97.

The Departments of Provincial and Local Government and Transport were included in the new section 92.

Subsection (4) of section 93 was divided into (a) and (b).

The word “programme” was inserted after “development” in the new section 94.

The words “or organisation providing” were inserted after “a person” in the new section 95.

The words “by regulation” were inserted after “prescribed” in the new sections 96 and 98.

The words “within 6 months after receiving an application” were inserted in the new section 97.

Subsections (6) and (7) were added to the new section 97.

The words “social service professional” was replaced by “suitably qualified person” in the new section 97.

The wording of the new section 101 was substituted with new text.

The words “social worker” was replaced by “social service professional”, “or a registration holder” was inserted after “applicant” and “within 90 days” was inserted after “appeal” in section 102.

Clause 4 was adopted, with amendments, by the Committee.

Clause 5: Amendment of chapter 7 of Act 38 of 2005
No changes were made to the new sections 108 and 138.

Technical corrections were made to sections the new sections 104, 107, 109, 110 and 137.

In the new section 105, the word “designated” was inserted before “child protection”, “prescribed was inserted before “norms and standards” and “regulation” was omitted after “prescribed”.

Subsection (2) of the new section 106 was extensively debated. (b) was amended to “assessment programmes”, (f) was amended to “foster care services”, (i) was amended to “adoption services”. There was omission, in subsection (g) of family preservation”, in (k) of “development”, in (m) of “outreach” and in (p)of “social security”. “Child-headed households” was added.

Section 110 was amended by inserting “Director-General or provincial head of” and omitting “within 24 hours”. New subsections (6) and (8) were inserted and the previous subsection (6) was renumbered to (7).

Subsection (3) of the new section 135 was deleted.

A new section 136 was inserted and the new sections 137 to 141 were renumbered.

Subsections (3) (b) and (5) were deleted from section 137.

In the new section 137, the phrase “for poor households and vulnerable children” was deleted from subsection (8) and a new subsection (9) was inserted.

Subsection (1) of the new section 140 was rephrased.

Subsection (2) of the new section 141 was rephrased and paragraphs (a) and (b) were inserted.

As proposed by the Chairperson, the new Section 139 was omitted from the Bill, and the matter of discipline of children was deferred for further deliberation.

Ms H Bogopane-Zulu (ANC) was concerned about the way in which the omission of this clause would be dealt with in the Committee’s report and the matter was extensively debated by the Members.

Clause 5 was adopted, with amendments.

Clause 6: Amendment of section 142 of Act 38 of 2005
Paragraph (f) was deleted and paragraph (d) was split into paragraphs (d) and (e).

Clause 6 was adopted, with amendments.

Clause 7: Insertion of chapter 8 in Act 38 of 2005
Technical corrections were made to the new sections 143, 144, 145 and 147.

The new Sections 148 and 149 remained unchanged.

Reference to the Departments of Provincial and Local Government and Transport were added to the new section 145, and the words “prescribed intervals” replaced “from time to time”.

The heading of the new section 146 was changed to read “programme” instead of “services” and a new subsection (4) was inserted.

The new Section 147 was extensively debated and it was decided that paragraph (a) be amended to “outreach services”, (i) be amended to “assessment of programmes”. Sub-paragraphs (g), (j), (k), (l) of subsection (2) were deleted and subsection (3) was also deleted.

Clause 7 was adopted, with amendments.

Clause 8: Amendment of section 156 of Act 38 of 2005
Clause 8 was adopted, without amendments.

Clause 9: Insertion of chapters 11,12,13 and 14 in Act 38 of 2005
Chapter 11: Alternative Care
The new Section 172 remained unchanged.

Technical corrections were made to the new sections 173, 174, 175, 177, 178 and 179.

The words “longer than 6 months” were inserted under subsection (2) of the new Section 167 and a new subsection (4) was added.

Subsection (5) of the new Section 168 was rephrased.

Subsection (2) of the new Section 169 was rephrased.

The word “foster” was inserted before “care” in subsection (8) of the new Section 170.

Paragraph (b) of subsection (4) of the new section 171 was amended to read “the parent, guardian or care-giver of the child”.

The heading of the new Section 176 was amended to replace “after reaching” with “beyond”.

The words “within 90 days” were inserted in the new Section 177.

The heading of the new Section 178 was changed to read “serious injury, abuse or death” and subsection (3) was deleted.

Chapter 12: Foster Care
The new Sections 181, 184, 187 and 189 were not amended.

Technical corrections were made to new sections 185 and 188.

The new Section 182 was deleted.

The word “registered” was inserted before “cluster” in the new section 180.

A new subsection (1) was inserted in the new section 183 and a new paragraph (c) was inserted in subsection (2). The phrase “or a group of individuals” was deleted from section 183.

A new section 184 was inserted, which dealt with the management of foster care schemes.

The words “after 2 years” replaced “”at least once every two years” in the new section 186.

A new subsection (2) was inserted into section 188.

A new paragraph (d) was inserted into section 190.

Chapter 13: Child and Youth Care Centres
The new Sections 195, 203 and 206 were not amended.

Technical corrections were made to sections 192, 194, 196, 197, 198, 200, 201, 202, 204, 205, 207 and 212.

With regard to the new section 194, Members debated at length whether separate norms and standards should be specified under the various clauses of the Bill. The Chairperson explained the desirability of retaining the specifications as described under the sections of the Bill.

The new Section 191 was amended by inserting “early child development” under subsection (2), and a new paragraph (j) was inserted. Subsection (3)(b) was amended to read “therapeutic and developmental programmes” and a new subsection (4) was inserted.

In the new Section 193, “from time to time” was replaced by “at prescribed intervals”.

The new Section 194 was amended by including reference to the affected Ministers under subsection (1), and by inserting a new paragraph (m) “early childhood development”.

New subsections (3), (4) and (5) were added to the new section 196.

The heading of the new section 197 was amended to read “establishment of child and youth care centre”.

The new Section 199 was moved to the end of the chapter and the sections following after that were renumbered.

The new Section 200 was amended by inserting “or conditional registration“ under subsection (1) and by inserting “taking into account building regulations and any other requirements prescribed by legislation” under paragraph (c) (ii).

The phrase “within 6 months of receipt of the application” was inserted in the new Section 201.

In the new Section 202, the phrase “no longer than one year” was inserted and “by regulation” was omitted.

A new subsection (6) was inserted in the new Section 204.

Section 205 was rephrased.

The words “or registration holder” and “appeal within 90 days” were inserted in the new section 207.

Subsection (6) of new Section 208 was amended to include “taking into account the age, stage of development and stability of the child”.

Subsection (4) was omitted from section 209.

The words “by regulation” were omitted from section 210.

Subsection (3) of section 211 was amended by replacing “give advice” with “assist”.

Chapter 14: Drop-in Centres
The new Sections 218, 222 and 224 were unchanged.

Technical corrections were made to new Sections 217, 219, 220, 226 and 227.

Section 213 was amended to include new subsections (1) and (2).

Reference to the Ministers of Health and Finance was omitted from section 214 and the phrase “from time to time” replaced with “at prescribed intervals”.

A new subsection (2) was inserted under the new Section 215 and the word “management” replaced with “managed”.

Subsections (3) and (4) under the new section 216 and paragraphs (b) and (g) of subsection (2) were deleted.

The new Section 218 was moved to the new section 226 and the sections following were renumbered.

The phrase “within 6 months of receiving the application” was inserted in the new section 220.

The word “conditional” was inserted before “registration” in the new section 221.

The words “within 90 days” and “or registration holder” were inserted under the new section 223.

In the new section 225, the words “designated social worker” were replaced by “social services professional”.

The heading of the new section 226 was amended to read “Serious injury, abuse or death of child in drop-in centre”, the words “or a person employed by a drop-in centre” were inserted and subsection (2) was rephrased.

Clause 9 was then adopted, with amendments.

Clause 10: Amendment of section 250 of Act 38 of 2005
Clause 10 was adopted, without amendments.

Clause 11: Amendment of section 304 of Act 38 of 2005
Clause 11 was adopted, without amendments.

Clause 12: Amendment of section 305 of Act 38 of 2005
Technical corrections were made to the references to other sections in the clause.

Clause 12 was adopted, with amendments.

Clause 13: Short title and commencement
Clause 13 was adopted, without amendments.

The Committee Members therefore adopted the Bill, subject to the adoption of the report on 24 October 2007.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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