The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and the Children’s Amendment Act 41 of 2007 were both signed by the President in 2006 and 2008 respectively. A small number of founding provisions were put into force in 2007; however, the bulk of the Act cannot be implemented until the regulations have been finalised and the State is ready to implement the Act.
The task of developing the regulations was split between the Department of Social Development and the Department of Justice. Social Development's regulations set the procedures, norms and standards for social services and Justice’s regulations cover children's court processes and parental responsibilities and rights. In March 2009, both departments completed their regulations. The two sets still need to be amalgamated and promulgated in the Government Gazette.
The Department of Social Development intends to implement the Act in 2009. However, Justice has expressed a preference for implementation at a later date. The two Ministers were scheduled to discuss the matter in April.
The drafting of the Children’s Act started in 1997. It is hoped that implementation will happen sooner rather than later.