Proposed land management model

The eventual implementation of an electronic land registration system in South Africa will be massively involved. In many respects the average conveyancer has neither the time nor the inclination to concern himself with the technical minutiae of such a system. This paper therefore provides a very useful non technical overview of both the problems faced and the solutions being developed by the Land Survey profession and the Government in an attempt to bring cadastral reform up to speed with the political and social reforms which have taken place in recent years.

The scope of the task is manifested in this simple fact - less than 30% of the households in South Africa reside on surveyed land parcels. This means that the remaining 70% of households live on state land, alienated state land, local government owned land, or large tracts of private land used for farming or commercial purposes.

The paper discusses the two-tier land market system and the recently enacted legislation. It stresses the impact the cadastral reform strategies will have on the social and economic components of South Africa in giving security of tenure to this majority. The writer contends that it is possible to extend the existing cadastral system to include the rural and low cost urban housing projects, without prejudicing the current system and stretching the resources of the Department of Land Affairs.

This will be done by using innovative survey techniques to demarcate land parcels, pragmatic land and information management principles and a nationwide empowerment strategy aimed at using "community" surveyors to undertake the bulk of the demarcation work.

The strategies will have a minimal effect on the existing Land Survey Act and on the usual methods of demarcating land, so their chances of a successful implementation are good.

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