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					Dear colleague

Ter wille van diegene op ons adreslys wat nie so vertroud met Afrikaans is nie, word
hierdie inligting slegs in Engels weergegee. Indien daar enige van julle is wat navrae
hieroor het, skakel ons kantoor gerus.


You are receiving this e-mail in an effort to inform all concerned about the latest
developments regarding the registration of marriages at the Department of Home Affairs.
Some of these issues might be irrelevant to you and your constituency, because of the fact
that you might have already been informed accordingly by the Department, or some other
way. I am writing this information letter from the perspective of the praxis within the
Dutch Reformed Church, and trust that it might be of some help to you as well.

In the past, ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church have registered marriages by
sending the original and one duplicate of form BI-30 via postal mail to the Department of
Home Affairs. It was done with no cost (no stamps needed) to the Marriage Officer. We
have reason te believe that this process has more or less been the same for all other
denominations involved.

Unfortunately, we have been receiving an increasing amount of queries from newly-weds
and other married couples, as well as Marriage Officers, who found out that there is no
record of a specific marriage being registered with Home Affairs – even months and
years after the conduction of that marriage.

At a meeting between a delegation of the DRC and the Department of Home Affairs in
Pretoria during July 2009, the following became evident:

   1. The Department of Home Affairs interprets the Marriage Act (of 1961) in such a
      way that Marriage Officers are held responsible to forward/submit/hand in the
      registration forms within three (3) days of the marriage date – and NOT post

   2. Incidentally, registered mail is not accepted by Home Affairs Offices.

   3. Marriage Officers are to provide Home Affairs with copies of the ID-documents
      of witnesses to the marriage as well as those entering into the marriage.

   4. Where one or both of the parties entering into the marriage has been married
      before, but either lost a partner due to death, or divorce, copies of either the death
      certificate, or divorce certificate, must accompany the rest of the registration

The Department of Home Affairs also stressed the fact that Marriage Officers may only
conduct marriages when one of the parties involved is a member of the same
denomination as the Marriage Officer. This is due to the fact that a church applies for the
registration of a Marriage Officer in terms of the membership of that

From our side we would like to make the following suggestions:

   1. From what we have gathered, it seems that this process is not handled in the same
      way by all Regional Offices of Home Affairs. It may therefore prove valuable if
      denominations/churches/Marriage Officers were to make a special effort to meet
      with their Regional Office of Home Affairs’ staff responsible for Marriage
      Registration in order to make an arrangement regarding the local handing in of

   2. Marriage Officers are advised to keep copies of all documents handed in at Home
      Affairs Offices – and also to keep some kind of checking system: the idea being
      that the responsible person at Home Affairs sign for and provide an official stamp
      as proof of receipt of the relevant documentation. It remains the responsibility of
      the Marriage Officer/pastor – and not that of the Department of Home Affairs - to
      prove that a marriage has taken place.

With this e-mail we would like to call upon you to inform all Marriage Officers regarding
this process. You are welcome to offer any suggestions or raise queries regarding this
process to or by phoning my office.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Kind regards

Dr Ben du Toit
Parliamentary Desk: General Synod of Dutch Reformed Church
Private Bag X8, Bellville, 7535
Tel: 021 957 7196; Fax: 021 957 7197
Cell: 082 332 8700

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