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Strike hits homebuyers

The public sector strike has halted the buying and selling of properties involving hundreds of thousands of rands by leaving the Cape Town Deeds Office with a skeleton staff. On Thursday morning there was a notice outside the building which read: "To all Deeds Office clients. Due to industrial action the Deeds Office will be closed on Thursday 7 June 2007 to the public and conveyancers. Clients will be informed about the situation on Friday 8 June 2007".

Home buyers, sellers, conveyancers, estate agents, in fact anyone affected by delays will now have to wait longer because of the backlogs. According to Conveyancing attorney Malcolm Roup of Roup Attorneys the situation is bleak. He said that "Firstly, the Deeds Office cannot operate on a skeleton staff. There are many departments that are interdependent, effectively it's closed."

The strike means that no property can be sold or bought at present, and was resulting in financial losses and great inconvenience, especially to ordinary buyers and sellers whose finances would "go haywire" as they waited for properties to be registered.

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