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Marriage Policy Dialogue on Track

October 14, 2019

Department of Home Affairs

14 October 2019

The new Marriage Policy is expected to be drawn up by March 2021.

The home affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, confirmed this during a Marriage Policy Dialogue with Traditional Leaders in Kwazulu-Natal.

The minister emphasized that the marriage dialogues process will “lead us to a new, modern and Constitutional marriage policy and enabling laws which would recognise our multiple cultural practices, religious beliefs and gender preferences”.

The home affairs department is currently engaging with stakeholders from various sectors to help identify key issues to be addressed by the new marriage policy and legislation.

Once dialogue with key stakeholders is completed, a Draft Marriage Policy will be released for comment.

The minister pointed out that meetings will, in the short-term, take place with “religious leaders in the Western Cape, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) and Khoisan Community Leaders, non-governmental organisations, academics and other government departments, including provincial governments”.

He added that the department will “listen carefully and consider all inputs made”.

“I can’t claim that everybody’s wishes will be in the final policy because we have to agree on what goes in. I appeal that we must be tolerant of other people’s views and beliefs. For an example, science and other cultures allow surrogacy but we look down on African cultures which do the same.”

The minister stressed that the final product must adhere to three Constitutional principles, namely, the principle of equality across cultural, religious, gender and other beliefs; not discriminate against anyone and for whatever reason and it must respect the human dignity of each person.