In terms of Section 3(1)(v)of the Deeds Registries Act47/1937 the duty to endorse registered deeds solely behoves the Registrar of Deeds.
The above authority implies that any endorsement appended to a deed by any person other than the Registrar of Deeds will not only be invalid but will even render such endorsed deed unserviceable.
The owner/holder thereof will resultantly be obliged to apply for a replacement copy thereof under the provisions of Regulation 68(8) of the act. Experience has shown a title deed being rendered unserviceable due to an accidental endorsement by the Receiver of Revenue.
On the flipside the need to identify South African land owned by foreigners has escalated to proposals for various methods of identification in title deeds. This was orchestrated by Land Reform's giving the impression that since 1994 more and more foreigners are acquiring land in South Africa to the near frustration of land reform initiatives and at the expense of South Africans.
To this end and in a report to the Minister of Land Affairs(15 January 2007) the Panel of Experts on the Development of Policy Regarding Land Ownership of Foreigners in South Africa, the following recommendation was made:
Regulation 18 of the Deeds Registries Act 47/1937 with regard to description of parties in a deed be amended and made more comprehensive in terms of the following disclosures:
- Permanent residence
- South African national identification number
- Foreign passport number
- Company registration number
- Income Tax registration number
- VAT registration number
- Nature of shareholders (name and place of ordinary residence of all substantial shareholders and their race, gender and citizenship)
- Trust registration number and the nature of beneficiaries(and their race, gender, citizenship and place of ordinary residence)
The above disclosure is accurately modelled along the mechanisms of disclosure of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA). The application of the above recommendations is being kept at abeyance pending an enactment by Parliament.
Law Lecturer,Justice College(Office of the Chief Registrar of Deeds)