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National Assembly passes recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill

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National Assembly passes recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill

2nd March 2021

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The National Assembly (NA) today passed the Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill and the Bill will now be sent to the President for assent.
 
The primary aim of the Bill is to amend the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998, by regulating proprietary consequences of customary marriages entered into before commencement of the Act.
 
The Bill also seeks to bring provisions of the 1998 Act in line with Constitutional Court judgments in Ramuhovhi and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others and Gumede v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others. These judgments found s7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act to be inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid, because the provision limited the right to human dignity and discriminated unfairly on the basis of gender and race, ethnic or social origin against women.
 
Last year, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the Bill with amendments and returned it to the NA for concurrence. The NA agreed with these amendments at its plenary sitting today.
 

Issued by the Parliament of South Africa

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