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”.


    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 or email

    Unlocking the blockchain – An introduction to bitcoin and distributed ledger technology

    While not many vendors in South Africa accepts cryptocurrency as a valid payment method, Bitcoin has started taking over the entire world. Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. Invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Published in 2008, and was released as open-source software in 2009.

    And although the Rand continuous to weaken, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is growing fast, with currency values climbing in 2017. Bitcoin enjoyed an increase in price of 63% during the last month and trade volumes almost ten folded on our local exchanges.

    In light of this, Sabinet hosted the annual Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) breakfast workshop in Centurion that focused on this very topical matter and the impact thereof.

    Norton Rose Fulbright’ Kerri Crawford and Rakhee Bhikha, based in Johannesburg, shared mind-boggling insights with law librarians and other professionals from the legal industry.

    One might be familiar with cryptocurrencies, digital currencies or virtual currencies, but they all mean the same thing. Bitcoins hold many benefits in which they are readily available and the cost of transactions are very low. None of these however are linked to a bank or country.

    Bitcoins are preferred by many online patrons, because of its real-time processing, easy accessible and most likely the anonymity factor to it. These days, you can purchase almost anything using bitcoins form coffee to houses, and you can use it in any country.

    But the real question everyone is asking is how can something so anonymous and acquired so easily over the internet be legal? Every day we hear about how people are using their hard-earned Rands and buying bitcoins – whether it is for an investment or the thrill of buying internet currency and watching it grow by the day, sometimes even doubling overnight. Fact is Bitcoins are changing the financial industry the same way web changed the publishing industry.

    Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a distributed network. This network also processes transactions made with the virtual currency, effectively making bitcoin its own payment network.

    Only 21 million bitcoins can ever be created by miners. However, these coins can be divided into smaller parts (the smallest divisible amount is one hundred millionth of a bitcoin and is called a ‘Satoshi’, after the founder of bitcoin).

    Provincial Legislation just got better!

    Our Provincial NetLaw product now consists of all Acts, Ordinances and Regulations in force. During the last quarter of 2014 we completed and added all Regulations in terms of Acts and Ordinances currently in force, making it the most up-to-date, reliable and comprehensive collection of Provincial Legislation. Read More

    The University of KwaZulu-Natal is now live with OCLC WorldShare Management Services®

    University becomes first African institution to implement OCLC’s cloud based library management services

    LEIDEN, Netherlands, February 10, 2015 – The University of Kwazulu-Natal, a leading African university, is now using OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS) as its library management system.

    WMS provide cloud-based library management and discovery applications in an integrated suite, offering librarians a comprehensive and cost-effective way to manage library workflows efficiently, and improve end users’ access to library collections and services. Read More

    Sabinet Regional Projects Proposals – Deadline Extension: 20 February 2015

    Due to a few requests received we have decided to extend the Call for Proposals deadline. Please note the new Regional Projects submission deadline below.

    The Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund supports several projects in Tshwane such as ABET classes, maths tuition, school funding and Enterprise Development. Over the past few years we have also sponsored a number of regional projects.

    This year we have decided to increase the funding amount to R30 000 for each regional project awarded. We encourage all libraries country-wide to submit their proposal for consideration. The Sabinet Chairperson’s Fund committee members will, at their discretion, decide on the amount of projects that will receive funding for the 2015 period. Read More

    Sabinet’s Annual Paper and Pizza day

    “The hardest thing about recycling is changing our attitudes, we at Sabinet believe in a greener, cleaner and better world for future generations, remember, it only takes one person to start recycling.”

    Regardless of how hectic our schedules are, each year we set aside one day to clean house! On this day, the Sabi-staff clean out the clutter from their offices, do their filling or get rid of all the items that were seemingly of use, they amassed during the course of the year. More importantly all the paper we no longer have a use for, is recycled. Check out our pictures on Facebook

    Recycling paper saves trees, water and the energy needed to cut down and transport the trees, then grind them into paper pulp. Recycling all our paper can have a big impact on reducing the amount of raw materials and energy needed to produce fresh paper. Paper is often the major contributor to waste in the office, and it’s easy to recycle. In our office, we have boxes which are clearly assigned in areas where people can deposit their paper, including one next to the printers and copiers. Source:

    We are responsible for preserving and protecting our resources for ourselves and for future generations, it is for this reason why we are involved in recycling projects. Materials which are not recycled are filling up our landfill sites.

    The hardest thing about recycling is changing our attitudes, we at Sabinet believe in a greener, cleaner and better world for future generations, remember, it only takes each one of us to be more conscious about how we regard waste for the impact to be felt the world over.

    Recyclable paper products:
    • White office and typing paper
    • Envelopes
    • Faxes
    • Printouts
    • Accounts
    • Junk mail
    • Newspapers
    • Cereal boxes
    • Medicine boxes
    • Tissue boxes
    • Clothing tags
    • Cardboard boxes
    • Cards
    • Magazines
    • Flyers
    • Pamphlets
    • Brochures
    • Catalogues
    • Calendars
    • Phonebooks
    • Egg cartons
    • Toilet paper inners
    • Roller towel inners
    • Notes
    • Till slips
    • Wrapping paper