The DA welcomes the announcement by the Public Protector today that her office will investigate the systemic failure of maintenance courts.
In October last year, I wrote to the Public Protector to ask that she launch a full-scale investigation into the failure of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to provide speedy and satisfactory relief to maintenance beneficiaries who rely on this financial support.
For the past few years, no court order has been made in respect of approximately 60% of new maintenance applications. This is unacceptable, and is inhibiting people, especially children, from accessing the opportunities and services to which they are entitled. Parents should accept financial responsibility for their children, and allow them to maximise their potential, instead of abusing the system to avoid doing so. When this occurs, it is imperative that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development acts to protect and promote the best interests of the children.
It is essential that the Department protects and promotes the interests of the children who are affected by the non-payment of maintenance. I welcome Adv. Madonsela’s agreement to investigate this matter.