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History of the law-making process

The first Bill dealt with matters which national government is responsible for. Parliament passed this Bill in December 2005. The President signed it into law in June 2006 and its official name and number is the Children's Act 38 of 2005. The President then published a proclamation in the Government Gazette for 44 sections of the Children's Act to come into force on 1 July 2007.

The second Bill (dealing with the service areas for which the provinces are responsible) was passed by Parliament in November 2007 and signed into law by the President in March 2008. It is called the Children’s Amendment Act 41 of 2007.

The two Acts have now been consolidated into one Act, called the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (as amended by Act 41 of 2007).

On 1 April 2010, proclamations were published in the Government Gazette, putting into full operation the whole Act (as amended) and a comprehensive set of regulations and forms.

Between 2002 and 2008, the Children’s Institute monitored the Childen’s Act law-making process and co-ordinated a civil society campaign. See the Progress Updates below for more details on the key debates, amendments and final decisions by Parliament. These are helpful when interpreting the provisions of the Act as they show the key debates and evidence behind Parliament’s decisions.

Progress Updates on the second Bill (now called the Children’s Amendment Act 41 of 2007)

5 November 2007 – Second Bill: National Assembly amendments 
6 June 2007 – Second Bill: NCOP amendments
13 November 2006 – Second Bill: NCOP deliberations and public hearings

Progress Updates on the first Bill (now called the Children’s Act 38 of 2005)

13 March 2006 – First Bill: NCOP proposed amendments and National Assembly’s final decisions on these proposed amendments
27 June 2005 – First Bill: National Assembly’s amendments
21 September 2004 – First Bill: National Assembly public hearings

Click here for previous progress updates, spanning the period 2003 – 2007.


[The SA Child Gauge] is a very informative and user-friendly document and has also informed some of our interventions. We … greatly value and appreciate the in-depth and thorough research on every aspect of the life of the child.
Sr Aine Hughes, St Kizito's Children's Programme, Siyabhabha Trust

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South African Child Gauge 2013

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