Marriage Amendment Act, 1970
To amend the Marriage Act, 1961, so as to assign the administration of the provisions thereof in respect of any Bantu in the Republic and any member of any of the native nations in the territory of South-West Africa to the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, and to provide that the administration of certain other laws may be assigned to the said Minister in respect of any Bantu; to abolish banns of marriage, notices of intention to marry and special marriage licences; to enable girls of the age of fifteen years to marry without the permission of the Minister; to apply the said Act to the territory of South-West Africa, including the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel; and to provide for incidental matters.
(Afrikaans text signed by the State President.)
(Assented to 11th September, 1970.)
Be it enacted by the State President, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:―
2. Section 2 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution in subsection (2) for the word “race” of the words “population group”.
3. Section 3 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution in subsection (2) (c) for the word “race” of the words “population group”.
4. Section 5 of the principal Act is hereby amended―
5. The following section is hereby substituted for section 12 of the principal Act:
|“Prohibition of solemnization of marriage without production of identity document or prescribed declaration.||
12. No marriage officer shall solemnize any marriage unless―
7. Section 22 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the deletion of the words “or the applicable provisions of any law of the territory of South-West Africa relating to the issue of special marriage licences,”.
8. The following section is hereby substituted for section 23 of the principal Act:
|“Objections to marriage.||
23. (1) Any person desiring to raise any objection to any proposed marriage shall lodge such objection in writing with the marriage officer who is to solemnize such marriage.
(2) Upon receipt of any such objection the marriage officer concerned shall inquire into the grounds of the objection and if he is satisfied that there is no lawful impediment to the proposed marriage, he may solemnize the marriage in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(3) If he is not so satisfied he shall refuse to solemnize the marriage.”.
9. Section 26 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (1) of the following subsection:
“(1) No boy under the age of eighteen years and no girl under the age of fifteen years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage except with the written permission of the Minister, which he may grant in any particular case in which he considers such marriage desirable: Provided that such permission shall not relieve the parties to the proposed marriage from the obligation to comply with all other requirements prescribed by law: Provided further that such permission shall not be necessary if by reason of any such other requirement the consent of a judge or court having jurisdiction in the matter is necessary and has been granted.”.
10. The following section is hereby substituted for section 30 of the principal Act:
30. (1) In solemnizing any marriage the marriage officer shall put the following questions to each of the parties separately, each of whom shall reply thereto in the affirmative:
‘Do you, A.B., declare that as far as you know there is no lawful impediment to your proposed marriage with C.D. here present, and that you call all here present to witness that you take C.D. as your lawful wife (or husband)?’,
and thereupon the parties shall give each other the right hand and the said marriage officer shall declare the marriage solemnized in the following words:
‘I declare that A.B. and C.D. here present have been lawfully married.’.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1), a marriage officer, if he is a minister of religion or a person holding a responsible position in a religious denomination or organization, may in solemnizing a marriage follow the rites usually observed by his religious denomination or organization.”.
11. (1) Section 38 of the principal Act is hereby amended―
(2) Regulations made under section 38 of the principal Act and in force at the commencement of the Marriage Amendment Act, 1970, shall be deemed to have been made under the said section, as amended by this section, and shall remain in force until amended or repealed by the competent authority.
12. The following section is hereby inserted in the principal Act after section 38:
|“Administration of certain other laws in respect of any Bantu.||
38A. (1) The State President may by proclamation in the Gazette assign the administration of any other law relating to marriages, to the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, in respect of any Bantu.
(2) The State President may from time to time by like proclamation revoke or amend any such proclamation.”.
13. The following section is hereby inserted in the principal Act after section 39:
|“Application of Act to the territory of South-West Africa, and repeal of laws of that territory.||
39A. (1) This Act and any amendment thereof shall apply also in the territory of South-West Africa, including the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel.
(2) A reference in this Act to ‘Union’ or ‘province of the Union’ shall be deemed to include a reference to the territory of South-West Africa.
(3) The Marriage Ordinance, 1963 (Ordinance No. 33 of 1963), sections 16 and 17 of the General Law Amendment Ordinance, 1965 (Ordinance No. 36 of 1965), and the Marriage Amendment Ordinance, 1967 (Ordinance No. 18 of 1967), of the territory of South-West Africa are hereby repealed.
(4) Anything done under any provision of a law repealed by subsection (3) shall be deemed to have been done under the corresponding provision of this Act (if any).
(5) Any marriage which is validated by or is valid in terms of any law repealed by subsection (3) shall not be affected by such repeal.”.
14. This Act shall be called the Marriage Amendment Act, 1970, and shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the State President by proclamation in the Gazette.