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Pain with marriage registrations

We have become aware of great frustrations among some pastors regarding the registration of marriages. We are also worried about what will happen after 15 February. A letter in this regard was sent to 42 Home Affairs officials. Read the full letter below.

To whom it may concern


Department of Home Affairs

Registration of marriages by Religious Leaders/Marriage Officers


Dear Sir/Madam


For decades religious leaders assisted the state in their duty to officiate marriages in SA.

For us it is a privilege to serve in this capacity.


Over the past few years we noticed that the registration of marriages became more complicated and time consuming, up to a point where it is creating an unsustainable burden on marriage officers.


We ask you to kindly take note of the following:


  • We are rendering a service. If the state alone would be responsible for this, it would create a huge crisis regarding capacity.

  • We are not like ordinary citizens who must go to your offices only when personal needs ask for it. Some of us need to go to your offices on monthly or even weekly basis. In this regard we are also “frontline workers”.

  • To expect from us to stand in a queue for two or three hours is unacceptable. Many pastors died during COVID-19, while serving the community. To expose them even further on a regular base is asking too much.


Solutions


  • Please create an extra desk, apart from the death registrations.

  • Please consider the possibility to submit paperwork ONLINE. Surely there must be ways to deal with the security matters.


We are writing this request on behalf of the


Western Province Council of Churches Western Cape Ecumenical Network

Centre for Public Witness


The following response was received from Ms Bongiwe Sakawuli, District Manager of the Cape Metro and Overberg:


"I have asked all offices in Cape Metro and Overberg to have a separate queue for marriage officers as they do for death registrations. If you experience any problems in any of the offices in Cape Metro and Overberg, please feel free to contact me at 066 478 4060."


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