Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill: Final Mandates; Traditional Courts Bill: Finalisation & Committee Report

NCOP Security and Justice

25 November 2020
Chairperson: Ms S Shaik (ANC, Limpopo)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Select Committee on Security and Justice

Tabled Committee Reports

The Select Committee on Security and Justice met to consider and adopt the committee reports on the Traditional Courts Bill and the consideration of the Final Mandates on the recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill.

The committee report on the Traditional Courts Bill was adopted by the Committee, whereas the report on the final mandates on the Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill was referred for adoption at a later stage as Members received the draft report quite late.

Two amendments to the Customary Marriages Amendment Bill had also been effected and accepted by the Committee.

Meeting report

Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on the Traditional Courts Bill [B 1B – 2017]
The Chairperson noted it was important to ascertain how widely the public participation process had been advertised as well as information on inputs provided. This information was critical in terms of a court judgement that had been handed down on public participation processes. She noted that she had tried to kick start internal processes and that more work needed to be done internally on this front.

She further informed that the Committee had received the negotiating mandates of all nine provinces as well as the responses from the Department in terms of the proposed amendments. The parliamentary legal advisers had also provided input.

She recalled that the Committee had adopted the proposed amendments on 3 November 2020 and that all the relevant documentation had been sent to provinces. Of the nine provinces, only two did not support the Bill.
The Committee report reflected which provinces had supported the Bill.
Mr T Dodovu (ANC, North West) moved for the adoption of the report and Ms B Bartlett (ANC, Northern Cape) seconded the report.
Mr I Sileku (DA, Western Cape) said that all his concerns had been taken into account regarding the Bill.
There were no abstentions or objections and the report was adopted.

Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill [B 12 – 2019]
The Chairperson noted that eight of the nine provinces had submitted their final negotiating mandates. The breakdown was as follows; Eastern Cape, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape. Of these eight provinces, the Western Cape did not support the Bill. The North West did not submit a final negotiating mandate.
The Chairperson said that notwithstanding the North West’s final mandate, seven provinces still supported the Bill. She noted that two technical amendments had been proposed and incorporated into the Bill.

Adv Nathi Mjenxane, parliamentary legal adviser, spoke to the two technical amendments that had been effected.
He noted that the one definition related to the definition of a traditional leader in Clause 1 of the Bill. He explained that the definition had been sought as the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill has yet to commence.

The second amendment related to the short title of the Bill. A technical amendment had been effected to substitute 2019 with 2020 to reflect the actual year that the Bill had been considered. These had been the only changes that he had been instructed to effect.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee report on the Customary Marriages Amendment Bill had been sent to Members rather late and that this had prevented Members from acquainting themselves with the content of the report. She proposed that the adoption of the report should be postponed. 
Ms Bartlett supported the proposal.

The Chairperson noted Members would be allowed sufficient time go through the report and that she would engage with the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to ascertain whether the Committee could link with theirs to consider the adoption of the report.
She thanked the legal and procedural staff for their work in processing the Bill and adjourned the meeting.


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