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Draft Marriage Policy in the Pipeline

March 17, 2021

Department of Home Affairs

The Draft Marriage Policy will help to curb instances of fraudulent marriages and marriages of inconvenience.

The home affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, highlighted this in an address to the inter-ministerial roundtable on the Draft Marriage Policy.

The minister confirmed that the Draft Policy will soon be tabled before cabinet to seek approval for publication for comment.

He added that the Draft Policy draws from inputs received from different stakeholders and technical consultation with the Muslim Judicial Council, Hindu representatives and the Khoisan Community.

The Draft Policy will “enable South Africans and residents of all sexual orientations, religious and cultural persuasions to conclude legal marriages that will accord with the principles of equality, non -discrimination, human dignity and unity in diversity as encapsulated in the Constitution”.

The minister emphasized that it is important to have “policy which is aligned to our international and regional commitments”.

Legislative gaps in current acts governing marriage in South Africa include that the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 does not make provision for couples who change their sex status after undergoing transgender procedures but want to retain their marital status and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act that does not regulate some religious marriages such as the Hindu, Muslim and other customary marriages that are practiced in some African or royal families.

Mention was made of the South African Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper 152 on Single Marriage Statute released for comment earlier this year.