Maternity Benefits according to the law:
(1) An employee is entitled to at least four consecutive months’ maternity leave.
(2) An employee may commence maternity leave--
(a) at any time from four weeks before the expected date of birth, unless otherwise agreed; or
(b) on a date from which a medical practitioner or a midwife certifies that it is necessary for the employee’s health or that of her unborn child.
(3) No employee may work for six weeks after the birth of her child, unless a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that she is fit to do so.
(4) An employee who has a miscarriage during the third trimester of pregnancy or bears a stillborn child is entitled to maternity leave for six weeks after the miscarriage or stillbirth, whether or not the employee had commenced maternity leave at the time of the miscarriage or stillbirth.
(5) An employee must notify an employer in writing, unless the employee is unable to do so, of the date on which the employee intends to--
(a) commence maternity leave; and
(b) return to work after maternity leave.
(6) Notification in terms of subsection (5) must be given--
(a) at least four weeks before the employee intends to commence maternity leave or
(b) if it is not reasonably practicable to do so, as soon as is reasonably practicable.
(7) The payment of maternity benefits will be determined by the Minister subject to the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1966 (Act No. 30 of 1966).
Protection of employees before and after birth of a child
26. (1) No employer may require or permit a pregnant employee or an employee who is nursing her child to perform work that is hazardous to her health or the health of her child.
(2) During an employee’s pregnancy, and for a period of six months after the birth of her child, her employer must offer her suitable, alternative employment on terms and conditions that are no less favourable than her ordinary terms and conditions of
(a) the employee is required to perform night work, as defined in section 17(1) or her work poses a danger to her health or safety or that of her child; and
(b) it is practicable for the employer to do so.
In other words:
Employee's are entitled to 4 consecutive months' maternity leave
You may choose when to start your maternity leave any time within the 4 weeks before your expected due date, but you don't have to take maternity leave from 36 weeks unless your personal contract states otherwise.
If you wish to return to work before 6 weeks has passed after the birth of your baby, you will need a medical certificate from your obstetrician.
If you've suffered a pregnancy loss after 28 weeks gestation, you are entitled to 6 weeks maternity leave.
You must let your employer know (in writing), at least 4 weeks before you plan to start your maternity leave of both dates on which you plan to start and end your maternity leave - Your obstetrician can provide you with such a letter.
Maternity benefits (payment and other arrangements) are not discussed in this particular document