Centre for Child Law PDF Print E-mail

Annual report 2013 front cover 1The Centre for Child Law is based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria.

The official launch of the Centre was held in October 1998. The Director of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria is Prof Ann Skelton.

The Centre contributes towards establishing and promoting the best interests of children in our community through education, research, advocacy and litigation.

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Mud to bricks: A review of school infrastructure spending and delivery

MudtoBricks CoverDilapidated public school infrastructure can be found across the country, but the problem is particularly acute in the Eastern Cape where the majority of the so called 'mud schools' are located. On 04 February 2011, following court action on the issue of mud schools, the Legal Resources Centre, acting on behalf of 7 schools and the Centre for Child Law, concluded a landmark settlement with the National Department of Basic Education in which the Department committed to spend R8.2 billion from 1 April 2011 to 1 March 2014 to eradicate mud schools and improve infrastructure of schools throughout South Africa.

The Centre for Child Law commissioned Cornerstone Economic Research, to track school infrastucture spending and delivery. The aim of the research was to assess what progress has been made in addressing the issues that brought about the litigation.

This study, amonst other things, makes the concerning finding that the Department has woefully underspent the allocated school infrastructure funding for two years running. The target for the number of schools to be built in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 was 49. However, only 10 had been completed at the end of the first year.

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Children at the centre: A guide to the registration of Child and Youth Care Centres

Despite the fact thCYCC Manual Web pic1at the Children's Act 38 of 2005 has been in operation for nearly three years, many child care facilities (including facilities previously referred to as children's homes) have not registered as child and youth care centres as prescribed by the Act.

The Centre saw the need to provide some assistance in the registration process and therefore put together a practical manual on registration of Child and Youth Care Centres.

The aim of this manual is to provide practical guidance to child care facilities through clarifying the registration requirements and procedures to be followed and through addressing the 'frequently asked questions'. 

"[A]ll the facilities recognised the importance of registration but were, without exception, crippled by the lack of information on the registration requirements and procedures..."

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Latest Judgments

Constitutional Court rules on constitutionality of placing child offenders on sex offender register
J v National Director of Public Prosecutions and Another CCT 114/13
Constitutional Court rules on remedy in tender dispute involving children
AllPay Consolidated Investments Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Others v Chief Executive Officer of the South African Social Security Agency and Others (No 2) CCT 48/13

Upcoming Cases and Events


Deadline to confirm participation 05 May 2014 (only South African universities)

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Latest News



The Department of Basic Education has criticized the launching of a publication commissioned by the Centre for Child Law, Mud to Bricks, which tracks school infrastructure spending. The Department complains that the report is outdated and misleading.

In fact, the report is dated Jan 2014. After undergoing an editing and reviewing process, it was published earlier this year and had been on the Centre's website for over a month. Parts of the report have already been included in court papers filed several months ago, so the Department has been aware of the report's existence and main findings for some time.

At the official launch of this report that took place on Thursday 22 August 2014, the presentation on the report included up-to-date figures and information that contextualised the report.

The speakers at the publication launch also acknowledged the complexity of the task of replacing inappropriate school structures. However, we must continue to monitor the delivery rate. The LRC on behalf of the Centre, together with 5 schools, obtained an out of court settlement on 22 August 2014 requiring proper plans to be placed on the table. This is despite repeated requests for information to be placed in the public domain the Department had to be taken to court to agree to this process.

For more information: 
Media Release

Centre for Child Law