In South Africa, there are various forms of marriage, which includes Civil Marriage, Customary Marriage and Civil Union. For a long time, customary unions (marriages) did not have the same full legal status as civil marriages (e.g. magistrate’s court marriages) had in South African law. This was unfair discrimination and also made women in customary marriages vulnerable.
The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act
The new Recognition of Customary Marriages Act became law on 15 November 2000, together with Regulations under the Act.
The new Act:
Requirements for a customary marriage
There are only three basic statutory requirements for the validity of a customary marriage in terms of The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998. Section 3 of the Act states that:
“For a customary marriage entered into after the commencement of the Act to be valid:
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. (E&OE)
The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 120 of 1998