1. PURPOSE OF THE CIRCULAR
The purpose of this circular is to provide clarity to municipalities, deeds registries and conveyancers and to ensure a common interpretation and application of the regulation dealing with the certificate issued in terms of section 118 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000).
3. ACTIONS TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES
3.1. The Departments of Cooperative Governance and Rural Development and Land Reform and SALGA have agreed that the Department of Cooperative Governance will initiate the legislative process to amend the regulation dealing with the certificate in terms of section 118 of Act No. 32 of 2000. The regulation must be amended to allow for the capturing of sectional title units / exclusive use areas / cession of real rights, the electronic signature of certificates, and the electronically issuing of the certificates. The legislative process takes time and will not provide a solution in the current situation. However, Municipalities will, pending the amendment of the regulation, be required to ensure that as from 1 July 2014 all electronically issued certificates contain an advanced electronic signature, as contemplated in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 (Act No. 25 of 2002).
3.2. In the interim, the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Rural Development and Land Reform and SALGA have agreed that the Registrar of Deeds may accept electronically issued clearance certificates if such certificates embody the following certificate by the conveyancer:
“I …………………………. (full name and surname) hereby certify that this is a print-out of a data message in respect of the original clearance certificate electronically issued by the …………………………..municipality (insert name of municipality).”
3.3 The meeting also agreed to include the description of sectional title units / exclusive use areas / cession of real rights in the certificate. A copy of the amended certificate is attached as Annexure “A”. It must be noted that although Act No. 32 of 2000 does not allow for a deviation from the certificate, unless the regulation is amended, this interim measure will ensure that the property market continues to function as it currently does and that the transfer of sectional title units / exclusive use areas / real rights is not delayed until the amendment of the regulation.
3.4 The Office of the Chief Registrar of Deeds has withdrawn Chief Registrar’s Circular 1 of 2014. The procedure contained in this Circular must now be followed until Act No. 32 of 2000 has been amended to cater in this regard, or until otherwise informed by the Chief Registrar of Deeds or the Department of Cooperative Governance.
4. DATES RELATING TO AGREED PROCEDURES
4.1. All electronically issued clearance certificates, issued on or after 31 March 2014, must embody the certificate by the conveyancer as referred to in par. 3.2 supra.
4.2. All manual and electronically issued clearance certificates issued on or after 1 May 2014, must conform to the format as contained in Annexure A.
4.3. All clearance certificates electronically issued on or after 1 July 2014 must contain an advanced electronic signature, as contemplated in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 (Act No. 25 of 2002).
What happens to clearances which have already been issued? Will we have to re-apply (and burden the clients with more costs?
You will not need to re-apply, the changes that were made to the clearances affect those already issued as well. If your clearance was issued electronically through Gateway - you can simply re-print / re-assemble your document.