A South African jeweller is offering 20,000 RAND (£1435) worth of accessories to the first same sex couple to marry in the country.

It comes after the government approved the Civil Unions Bill this morning, allowing the “voluntary union of two persons, which is solemnised and registered by either a marriage or civil union.”

The law was approved earlier this month by 230 votes to 41, making South Africa the only part of the continent to allow gay marriage, amongst many gay hostile countries.

Now Uwe Koetter is offering his jewellery designs to first couple who tie the knot. He told the Sapa news agency, “I think it’s a great marketing opportunity and it’s a great event – we are the first country in Africa to enshrine it and so it’s something to celebrate.

“If needs be we can do it in 24 hours. Even if we have to work through the night, the rings will be designed and sized for the couple in time for the nuptials.”

The legislation is pretty non-committal, avoiding references to whether the partners are gay or straight.

It has also dissatisfied some gay groups who feel it gives them unequal status to straight couples and runs contradictory to current marriage laws which define the institution as a male and female union.

Last December the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that same-sex marriages should enjoy the same legal status as those between men and women, thereby giving the parliament a year to amend the 1961 marriage law.