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Will new system delay process?

Question:

I have a property portfolio and am constantly buying and selling properties.

I recently saw media reports of a new electronic deeds registration system coming to South Africa.

For me, the speed of sale and registration is vital. Will this new system improve or worsen the current registration processes?

Answer:

You are correct in that the new Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill has been signed into law by the president on 19 September 2019.

This new act will enable property transactions to be processed electronically.

It also instructs the Chief Registrar of Deeds to develop, establish and maintain such an electronic deeds registration system using information and communications technologies for the preparation, lodgement, registration, execution and storing of deeds and documents.

The purpose of the act is to streamline property registrations in the deeds office.

As such, it aims to enable the electronic processing, preparation and lodgement of deeds and documents by conveyancers and the Registrar of Deeds.

It aims to do this by moving away from the traditional method of having to attend to these manually at the Deeds Office.

The act also provides for the development of an Electronic Deeds Registration System, or e-DRS, through which South Africans can take advantage of the benefits offered by internet access, e-commerce and global computerisation in the management of security of property title.

With the ever-growing need for computerisation and digitalisation, the e-DRS looks to employ internet-based systems and eventually discontinue registration procedures which are currently regulated by the Deeds Registries Act and the Sectional Titles Act.

The new electronic deeds system will hopefully enable the registration of large volumes of deeds, improving the turn-around times for the delivering of registered title deeds and other security documents to clients. The deed’s registration services will be accessible from anywhere in the country.

In the long run, it should speed up the registration of transactions and provide greater mobility for the registration of transactions, ultimately benefiting the consumer.– Stacey Bartlett, director, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys

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