South Africa: the constitutional validity of section 7(3) of the divorce act

By Odette Coetzee and Johan LeGrange.
In broad terms, section 7(3) of the Divorce Act. Act 79 of 1979 provides that, where spouses
married out of community of property get divorced, the divorce court may make an equitable order that assets of the one spouse be transferred to the other (redistribution order). For ordinary civil marriages, this remedy was only available where the marriage was entered into before November 1, 1984 (the date that the Matrimonial Property Act. Act 88 of 1984 came into operation).

On October 10. 2023, the Constitutional Court of South Africa handed down a landmark decision in the matters of Booysen v Richardson & Others (CCT 364/21) (the «Booysen matter») and GreyLing v Minister of Home Affairs & Others (CCT 158/22) (the «Greyling matter).