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South Africa has a somewhat complex regulation when it comes to the legal age of consent for sex or any related sexual act.Generally the legal age of consent is considered to be age 16 and above for all genders and sexual orientations, but certain exceptions apply, including that of sex with someone with a mental disability and other factors.
South Africa also has a complex definition for what is considered a ‘sexual act’, and it is important that all persons are well aware of what is considered sex as per definition of the law.
The consent for sex between the ages of 12 and 16 has also been hotly debated in newspapers, social media and even a court of law, with no proposal or amendment to the current act to resolve the issue (by May 2014).
The sex act must also be consensual between both parties.
Persons also need to be weary of the age of becoming an adult (age 18 in South Africa), where the parents of a child still has authority about what he or she may consent to whilst under age 18.
It is illegal to have sex with a child under the age of 12, and for a child under the age of 12 to have sex with any person (regardless of age), even if the sex is consensual between the two persons.