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Civil Union Act, 2006 (Act No. 17 of 2006)



Notice No. 17

30 November 2006


It is hereby notified that the President has assented to the following Act, which is hereby published for general information:–


(English text signed by the President)

(Assented to 29 November 2006)


To provide for the solemnisation of civil unions, by way of either a marriage or civil partnership; the legal consequences of civil unions; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.





WHEREAS section 9(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. 1996 provides that everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law;


AND WHEREAS section 9(3) of the Constitution provides that the state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth;


AND WHEREAS section 10 of the Constitution provides that everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected;


AND WHEREAS section 15(1) of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion;


AND WHEREAS the rights in the Bill of Rights may he limited only in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom;


AND NOTING that the family law dispensation as it existed after the commencement of the Constitution did not provide for same-sex couples to enjoy the status and the benefits coupled with the responsibilities that marriage accords to opposite-sex couples.


BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:-