Cape Town – The Cape Town deeds office will urgently prioritise the upgrading of its IT system, according to Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza.
The move follows numerous complaints from stakeholders regarding backlogs and the constant closure of the office due to Covid-19 scares.
“All officials will be provided with all relevant tools of the trade to allow them to work from home. However, it is understood that, in some instances, this may not be possible, due to various factors such as where offices are in rural areas and where it is not safe to do so,” said Didiza.
“All examiners will be allowed to do examination of documents at home, to fast-track the examination of documents. Registrars have the authority to manage this and should do so, taking all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the documents as well as steps to avoid fraudulent transactions.”
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier welcomed the opening of the deeds office and said his department stood ready to advise on workplace safety measures and looked forward to engaging with Didiza.
“The smooth running of processes like deeds registration are key to the success of investments in the economy and so we look forward to these plans being implemented immediately,” said Maynier.
Chairperson of the Western Cape Property Development Forum, Deon van Zyl said the continual closure of the deeds office was an excuse by numerous national, regional and local officials to delay approval processes, and added to the conditions crippling the industry.
Chairperson of the Western Cape branch of the SA Institute of Black Property Practitioners, Imkita Ntshanga said the closure impacted on the commissions on which agents relied, on new home owners who could not gain access to their homes, and all participants in the property market.
“Our industry needs to see a commitment through actions that will ensure a solution is implemented with extreme urgency,” said Ntshanga.