The act prohibited transsexual people from having their sex status amended in the births and deaths register unless they could provide proof that they were in their transition process prior to 1992. As such, no new transitions could legally be started any longer.
Transsexuals’ sex transitions were encouraged under apartheid and became illegal during the political transition to democracy. This topic, and the reasons behind it, is extensively examined in the publication ‘Sex in Transition, Remaking gender and race in South Africa’ – Amanda Lock Swarr. In the book, Swarr wrote: “Also significant was the 1992 repeal of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act, which increased difficulties for transsexuals attempting to change sex on their birth certificates. This decision may have been based in a backlash against equal rights campaigns that accompanied the political transition to democracy in South Africa.”