Lodgment of rates clearance certificates that do not comply with the provisions of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No. 32 of 2000
- Rates clearance certificates that have been electronically generated, do not comply with the provisions of section 118 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000). These certificates are printed from the vendor’s website and provided with a certificate (by the conveyancer) to the effect that it is the ‘true copy of the rates clearance certificate that has been drawn from the vendor’s (name) website'.
- Section 118 of Act 32 of 2000 is prescriptive and does not afford the Registrar of Deeds any discretion in respect of the 'production to that registrar of deeds of a prescribed certificate'. The format of the prescribed certificate is contained in the Regulations to Act 32 of 2000 and provides for a signature by a Municipal Manager. The Act does not provide for copies of such certificates to be lodged.
- Pending an amendment to Act 32 of 2000, or until otherwise advised by the Minister of the Department: Provincial and Local Government, all Registrars of Deeds must strictly adhere to the provisions of section 118, in so far it relates to the lodgement of a prescribed rates clearance certificate. This certificate must be lodged in original form.
- Those offices who have accepted rates clearance certificates issued in the manner referred to in paragraph 1 will accept these certificates for registration purposes only until 28 February 2014. All rates clearance certificates accompanying transactions and lodged for registration on or after 3 March 2014, must strictly comply with the prescribed form and be lodged in the original format.
- Chief Registrar’s Circulars No. CRC 29 and 30 of 2013 are hereby withdrawn and substituted with this Circular.
We are aware of the concerns relating to Deeds Office acceptance of electronic Rates Certificates after 28th February. Currently, we are working closely with the Law Society of South Africa in arranging discussions with representatives of the Deeds Office to resolve this issue.
If this is not possible before the 28th February, we will implement an interim solution to ensure our customers receive the necessary paper documents to avoid delays in the rates clearance process. For the time being, Rates Certificates should still be applied for electronically, and we will publish any further updates as soon as we have them.
We understand that the electronic system is of great benefit to all involved, and we will do everything we can to ensure this process is not interrupted.
National Sales Manager Korbitec Municipal Services
I have looked at the form of the certificate in the regs and there does not appear to be any requirement that it be signed. What's wrong with an unsigned certificate, bearing the details of the responsible official printed off the site? It is then an original and will only be generated if payment has been made. Investec does this with guarantees so what's the big issue. I can't believe that we will have to go back to getting signed documents with all the attendant delays and hassles! I thought it was all about transforming the way we do things.
The chief Registrar has not clearly indicated what his problem is with the electronic copy. I do not agree that section 118 is so prescriptive that it excludes an electronic version of the rates certificate. It is high time that government plays its part in enhancing efficiency in the provision of its services to the public. The country is going digital. The benefits are great for all of us including nature and environmental conservation. The Deeds office must play its part in this regard.
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