New stats reveal that half of South African marriages don't last beyond 10 years

An unhappy couple seated together.
An unhappy couple seated together.

The latest South African marriage statistics have been released and the results are rather disheartening. According to the latest findings by Stats South Africa from 2016, divorce rates are at an all time high, with many couples not making it pass their 10th wedding anniversary.

It’s been revealed that a staggering amount of 25 326 divorces have been filed in 2016 and out of all of those divorces, 44,4% were filed by women while the number of men averaged at 34.2%

Out of these stats, it was revealed that 51,1% of those registered divorces were of couples who didn't manage to make it past their 10th wedding anniversary. Also, there were 13 922 cases in which there were circumstances in which the divorces involved children aged 18 and under.

But is it all doom and gloom? And in light of this, do people still believe in the institution of marriage?

In spite of the rate of divorce, it seems that South Africans aren’t quite ready to stop believing in unions just yet.

The statistics reveal that there has been an increase in civil and customary marriages as well as civil unions as seen below:

For the full results of the stats, visit

So while people are getting married, the question that now needs to be asked is: how do you stay happy, in love and committed to your marriage?

There’s an old saying that goes everyone wants a wedding, but no one wants to get married (or some variation of it at least), but relationships take work.

You shouldn't become comfortable once you’ve signed that marriage contract – many couples fall into the trap of complacency because they think they’ve reached the end of the race.

And things like open communication, compromise and honesty are huge foundations for a happy marriage. Also, perseverance in the harder moments because there is no such as a perfect marriage.

When I look at local celeb golden couple Connie and Shona Ferguson (ah, I can’t even stress how much they represent epic couple goals to me), you can just tell that they genuinely work at being happy...

According to, Connie revealed in an interview with Move magazine that a big part of what makes their marriage work (besides the great chemistry) is that they understand and have learned the art of compromise because they know that they will never always agree with each other.

For them, she adds, it’s about respect and being able to also make time for each other. And a big part of that also includes trying to make time to go away together to spend time as a family.

Despite certain problems, another celeb couple who seem to work hard at their relationship is DJ Black Coffee and actress Enhle Mbali. According to, he says that the key to their happiness is that they have always respected each other’s goals. 

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A post shared by MY HEALTHY LIFESTYLE (@mercymogase) on

He says that it helps that they understand their need for independence while supporting each other.

Of course celeb power couples are just as susceptible to things like infidelity and other serious factors that lead to divorce, but like many couples who are committed to be in it for the long haul, the key factor that those who make it work understand is that your journey with your significant other doesn’t end when you get married – it’s just the start of another chapter.

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