ConCourt ruling to hit moms

2013-09-07 00:00

THOUSANDS of divorced or single mothers across South Africa will be affected by a Constitutional Court order this week that the parent who registered a child at a school is responsible for paying the fees.

In terms of the order, if a single or divorced mother registered a child, the school will hold her responsible for the school fees. This is even if the divorce agreement determines that the father must pay the school.

Article 40 of the Schools Act states that the parent who registers a child is solely and personally responsible for that child’s school fees.

The ConCourt ruling follows in the case of Margaretha Meeding from Sasolburg, whose son studied at Sasolburg’s technical high school.

Her divorce agreement had ordered her ex-husband to pay the school fees, but he disappeared and did not pay. After two years, the school issued Meeding a summons for the overdue school fees.

She argued in court that article 40 is unconstitutional, as it discriminated against single parents — especially mothers who cannot trace the fathers.

Eleven Constitutional Court judges on Thursday refused her application to appeal an earlier refusal to have article 40 declared unconstitutional.

Legal expert Professor Marinus Wiechers said he agreed with the order.

“One can just imagine in what a mire the schools will find themselves if all single parents demand that the biological father or mother pay the children’s school fees,” he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.