Proposal to regulate religion opposed by COGTA

The proposal by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) to license and regulate religion, religious organisation and leaders, has not been endorsed by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

The COGTA has acknowledged that a majority of religious organisations and religious leaders in South Africa have rejected the proposal for regulation. The Committee has opted instead for self-regulation.

There is therefore no legal requirement for religious practitioners to register with any peer review mechanism as proposed by the CRL Rights Commission.

The law currently makes no demand for licensing on religious leaders, other than existing ordinary PAYE tax requirements on earnings. Religious organisations registered as non-profit organisations are governed by the Nonprofit Organisations Act No. 71 of 1997.

SAPRA would like to encourage Pagan religious leaders and organisations to uphold a high standard of ethics in their occupations, and to operate in accordance with the law in order to avoid bringing themselves, their organisations, or Paganism in general into disrepute.