COSATU welcomes the Divorce Amendment Bill passed by Parliament 

28 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the Divorce Amendment Bill passed by Parliament yesterday.  The Divorce Amendment Bill provides for the recognition of Muslim marriages in the event of divorce proceedings.  This is a long overdue correction to the Divorce Act which had until now failed to accommodate Muslim marriages.

The Federation supports this progressive Bill that will bring relief and protection to thousands of Muslim women and children.  This Bill will help ensure the rights of Muslim women and children during divorce, custody and the separation of assets proceedings are recognised and afforded the necessary protection.  This is important to enabling swift divorces and allowing the affected women and children the necessary relief.

The Bill will help relieve many working-class Muslim women and children of lives of poverty and even homelessness after divorce.  This fear has seen many opting to remain in abusive marriages out of fear of losing their homes and any source of income.

COSATU urges government to move with speed to enact this long overdue Bill into law.  Whilst COSATU welcomes this Bill, it is critical the 7th Parliament overhaul our existing marital and divorce laws to ensure that all marriages and parties’ rights are recognised and protected, irrespective of religion or culture.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687