How did we achieve this?

  • In 2012 and 2013 Sonke contributed language to the White Paper on Families that mandates Department of Labour and Department of Social Development to explore paternity leave in South Africa. We also joined with Mosaic women’s organisation as a partner in the MenCare+ programme to advocate for parenting leave.
  • In 2014 we supported Hendri Terreblanche with his petition to parliament, and directed some of our media exposure to his petition.
  • In 2015 we researched and developed a position paper on parenting leave in South Africa, in consultation with women’s rights organisations. We were part of the editorial of the State of the World’s Fathers, which made strong recommendations about parental leave in SA. We also advised Hendri on the development of a draft bill.
  • The ACDP then used the text from Hendri’s bill (without acknowledgement to him) to table a draft private member’s bill on amendments to improve parental leave.
  • In 2016 we made a comprehensive submission to the public hearings on the bill, proposing gender neutral language, improvements on adoption leave and on leave for fathers. The only verbal submissions were made by Sonke, Hendri Terreblanche and COSATU, all in favour of paternity leave.
  • In late 2016 we observed the deliberations in Portfolio Committee on Labour meetings and lobbied individual caucuses and members of parliament for specific language points.
  • At the last meeting of the committee on 30 November the members concluded their deliberations and agreed to recommend to pass the bill to the National Assembly.