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Chief Registrar's Circular 27/2013

12 December 2013

The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998 (Act No. 120 of 1998)

1. PURPOSE OF THIS CIRCULAR

This circular discusses the effect of a polygamous customary marriage entered into after the commencement of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act and without a contract being registered as provided for in section 7(6) of the Act.  

Circular No. 4 of 2009 is hereby withdrawn and substituted with this Circular. 

2. COMMENCEMENT OF THE ACT

The Act came into operation on 15 November 2000.  

3. PURPOSE OF THE ACT

The purpose of the Act is, inter alia to make provision for the recognition of customary marriages concluded in terms of customary law which is defined in section 1 of the Act as the customs and usages traditionally observed among the indigenous peoples of South Africa and to regulate the proprietary consequences of customary marriages and the capacity of spouses of such marriages. 

4. CASE LAW AND THE ACT

4.1. Gumede v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others - (CCT 50/08) [2008] ZACC 23 (8 December 2008)

4.2 Ngwenyama v Mayelane and Another - (474/11[2012] ZASCA 94)

5. IMPACT OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT AND DECIDED CASES ON DEEDS REGISTRATION PROCEDURES

5.1 Recognition of customary marriages

5.2. Contractual capacity of spouses

5.3. Proprietary consequences of customary marriages

5.3.1. Marriages in community of property

5.3.2. Marriages out of community of property

5.3.3. Polygamous customary marriages

5.3.4. Changes to the matrimonial property system and further customary marriages subsequent to the commencement of the Act.

5.4 Endorsement of deeds in terms of section 45 of Act No. 47 of 1937

5.5. Updating of deeds office records regarding new status

Chief Registrar's Circular 27 of 2013

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