14 May 2014

Botswana: Act Amendment Deals With Current Challenges - Batshu

press release

The review of the Married Persons Property Act has been facilitated by the need to have a secure and legal environment within which marriage existence is kept simple and facilitative.

Speaking at a workshop on the re-enactment of the act, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Edwin Batshu said the act had been amended to deal with current challenges, some of which threatened the very existence and stability of marriages.

The act, which was initially enacted in 1970, was meant to provide married couples with the right to exercise the option of the type of regime under which their property would be administered, he said

The review of the Married Persons Property Act has been facilitated by the need to have a secure and legal environment within which marriage existence is kept simple and facilitative.

Speaking at a workshop on the re-enactment of the act, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Edwin Batshu said the act had been amended to deal with current challenges, some of which threatened the very existence and stability of marriages.

The act, which was initially enacted in 1970, was meant to provide married couples with the right to exercise the option of the type of regime under which their property would be administered, he said.

The law, Mr Batshu said, had been overtaken by various developments within the country, adding that "emerging challenges dictate for the re-enactment of the law with amendments to, among others, simplify the law and strengthen the existing provisions to deal with the identified challenges."

The minister also shared one provision with workshop attendants, which introduced a concept of change of property regime and provision of safeguards, which would allow married couples to opt to change their marriage regime from one type to another during the subsistence of their marriage.

Mr Batshu encouraged couples, that in as much as the provision brings in flexibility and choice to the management of their regime, the provision must be used with care and caution for maximum benefit.

The review and re- enactment of the married persons property act started in 2009 and the minister elaborated that there has been some consultations of which various stakeholders affected by this matter were taken on board.

He said he was impressed by the level of cooperation and teamness displayed by all the key players during the review and re- enactment exercise, which, he said was also evident in the review.

Minister Batshu also appreciated the contribution of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi to the amendment of the act which has assisted in improving the earlier product.

The amendment of the act was considered and approved by Parliament in March, this year and still awaits the signing by President which would pave way to the commencement of the law.

Mr Batshu said he had hoped that through the various workshops that would be carried across the country for all marriage officers and commissioners of oaths there would be a smooth implementation of the law after the signing by the President.

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