Marriages in South Africa on the table

The home affairs department wants to submit a new Marriage Policy to cabinet for approval by March 2021.

The department confirmed this in a statement following consultation with gender and human rights interest groups on the development of a new Marriage Policy for South Africa last week.

The department added that the envisaged Marriage Policy will be drawn up after extensive public consultations.

In a speech delivered at the meeting, the minister of home affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced that the department was “starting a process to modernise our marriages laws to ensure that they adhere to the principles of the Constitution, which enjoins us to ensure that the State does not unfairly discriminate against any citizen”.

Currently, marriage in South Africa is governed by three laws, namely, the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 (monogamous marriage for opposite sex couples); the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (polygamous marriages for opposite sex couples); and the Civil Unions Act 17 of 2006 (monogamous partnerships for both same and opposite sex couples).

The minister holds the view that the acts still discriminate against some citizens as “current legislation does not cater for some religious marriages such as the Hindu and the Muslim and certain customary marriages among African communities”.

The plan is to draft a new, single marriage Act that will allow South Africans of different sexual orientation, religious and cultural persuasions to conclude legal marriages that will accord with the Constitutional principle of equality.

According to the department, other scheduled meetings with stakeholders include:

  • religious leaders on 26 September 2019;
  • traditional leaders on 4 October 2019;
  • CONTRALESA on 17 October 2019; and
  • government departments on 01 November 2019.
  • Following conclusion of the sectoral engagements, a Colloquium will be held to “process the inputs received and based on the inputs, craft key questions which the policy should answer”.

    BEFORE YOU LIGHT THE FIRE ON NATIONAL BRAAI DAY

    South Africans will celebrate National braai day on 24 September. This day stems from the national public holiday – Heritage Day. “Braai-ing” is a unique national pastime. It aims to unite all South Africans. 

    So, what goes into having the perfect braai day. Sabinet’s got you covered. Last year we brought you legislation into what the minimum legal requirements are for Boerewors. The next thing is having the perfect braai. Legislation proposes certain regulations on open fires. 

    South Africa has two fire seasons according to our rainfall patterns: the dry summer months in the Western Cape and the dry winter months in the rest of the country. Often wildfires are started by lightning or, in mountainous regions, by falling rocks. Most, however, are started by accident by people being careless with open flames and indifferent to the consequences of their carelessness.

    The Fire Danger Rating System in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (1998) has been published for general information.

    The national system has been designed to apply to 42 distinct regions with different fire conditions and uses a fire danger model which includes data relating to the region’s flammable fuel structure and condition as well as daily regional weather forecasts.

    The fire danger model is then used to calculate a daily fire danger index using indices of danger from blue to red.

    The five categories of fire danger in the rating system and required restrictions include the following:

    • Blue – low fire danger; no precautions required.
    • Green – low fire danger; prescribed burns may be allowed. 
    • Yellow – moderate fire danger; no fires allowed in the open air except those that are authorised by the chief fire officer of the local fire service and those in designated fireplaces; authorised fires may include prescribed burns. 
    • Orange – high fire danger; no fires may be allowed under any circumstances in the open air. 
    • Red – extreme fire danger; no fires may be allowed under any circumstances in the open air and special emergency fire preparedness measures must be invoked.

    The notice announcing the rating system, No. 1099, was published in Gazette 37014 on 15 November 2013 and replaces notice 1054 published in Gazette 27735 in 2005.

    For more information on this legislation and other gazettes, visit https://legal.sabinet.co.za or email info@sabinet.co.za

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