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Motsoaledi: We are taking steps to improve SA marriage laws

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said given South Africa's rich culture and diversity, the country's marriage policy needs urgent reconstruction.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi apologizes to marriage fraud victim Nomathamsanqa Swartbooi for what happened to her. 14 years ago, Swartbooi found out her ID was duplicated and was married to someone she never met. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said his department was taking steps to improve South Africa's marriage laws and come up with a new policy that would be a true reflection of the country's Constitution.

Motsoaledi was speaking at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Friday.

The department has been holding a dialogue to discuss laws governing marriages with rights groups and gender experts in a bid to strengthen the legislation.

Motsoaledi said given South Africa's rich culture and diversity, the country's marriage policy needed urgent reconstruction.

“We are starting a process to modernise our marriage laws to ensure that they adhere to the principals of the Constitution.”

He said the current regime discriminated against certain groups and didn't protect minors from getting married.

“We want to change the law that anyone below the age of 18 cannot get married," he added.

The Department of Home Affairs said over 2,000 fraudulent marriages were recorded this financial year alone.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: ‘I'm married to someone that I don’t know’ - Marriage fraud victim speaks out