The South Africa Government does not require religious groups to be licensed or registered. It does, however, recognize religions through registration of ministers to engage in legally binding religious weddings. To have a religious wedding in South Africa, the minister must be registered as a religious-marriage celebrant. In addition, religious groups may qualify as public-benefit organizations exempt from paying income tax.
Scientology received official religious recognition in South Africa on 31 March 2000 from the Department of Home Affairs, followed by designation by the Minister of Home Affairs of a Scientology minister as a “marriage officer” authorized to solemnize marriages in South Africa. On 15 November 2007, the South African Revenue Service granted the Church of Scientology the status of a public-benefit organization, a religious entity with full tax exemption.
“The Church has been approved as a public-benefit organization in terms of section 30 of the Income Tax Act, and the receipts and accruals are exempt from income tax… donations by or to the public-benefit organization are exempt from donation tax.”